> Album Review: This Could Be Texas by English Teacher - SNACK: Music, film, arts and culture magazine for Scotland

Album Review: This Could Be Texas by English Teacher

‘I’ve got a war of roses for a head,’ sings Lily Fontaine on English Teacher’s debut LP, This Could Be Texas. It’s just one of the gorgeously surreal and playful images conjured up over this album of vivid, raw-edged and off-kilter rock, in which people transform into albatrosses, paving slabs dream of the end of the world, and Romantic poets rise from their graves to see the sideboob of a Lancashire hill.

Since forming in 2020, the Leeds four-piece have carved out a space within the booming yet increasingly nebulous genre of post-punk: more melodic and less angular than Black Midi and Squid, but more colourful and experimental than the likes of Fontaines DC and Wet Leg.

English Teacher – The World’s Biggest Paving Slab

This Could Be Texas is an album of bold, expressive detail, whether it’s the aching, woozy piano chords on ‘You Blister My Paint’ or the slippery, auto-tuned vocals on ‘The Best Tears of Your Life’. Fluorescent synths flicker through ‘Not Everybody Gets to Go to Space’, a playful critique of individualism, while the piano and strings of ‘Mastermind Specialism’ gather gracefully like a blanket of snow beneath Fontaine’s musings on indecision.

Bassist Nicholas Eden lays out a supple, mossy groove on the infectious, springy ‘Nearly Daffodils’, while Douglas Frost’s piano forms dense, geometric patterns on tracks like ‘Broken Biscuits’, a track which eventually collapses into a tumbling rush of warbling saxophones.

English Teacher – The Best Tears of Your Life

Finally, the sharp corners and rough edges are all dissolved in the warm, dusky synths of closer ‘Albert Road’, bringing this truly excellent debut to a close in a blazing sunset.

This Could Be Texas is out now via Island Records

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