English Teacher – This Could Be Texas

An absolute masterpiece.

Label: Island Records
Released: 12th April 2024

If you haven’t heard of English Teacher, then where the hell have you been? Widely considered ‘the next big thing’, their debut album ‘This Could Be Texas’ not only proves that theory, it might actually be understating just how special this band is.

‘This Could Be Texas’ is a love letter to frontwoman Lily Fontaine’s cross-Pennine life so far. Her lyrics strike to the heart of urban, working-class living, with her strained voice conveying nostalgia, introspection, and ambition with effortless beauty. Weaving abstract metaphor into otherwise run-of-the-mill experiences, Fontaine fleshes out tiny details to ensure you feel included in every little aspect.

Much of this album is pure cinema. The stilted, cut-and-paste intonation of ‘Broken Biscuits’ embodies stagnant smalltown drama, whilst the swirling experimentalism of ‘Not Everyone Gets To Go To Space’ creates a galactic dreamscape, mirroring the place your mind wanders to when you’re staring out your bedroom window. There is scathing social commentary in grungy-punk banger ‘R&B’, addressing racial bias within a still majority-white indie scene, while epic finale ‘Albert Road’ injects colour and verve into Fontaine’s childhood memories.

English Teacher are impossible to pigeonhole, breaking out of the saturated post-punk scene and pulling from multiple contrasting influences with poise and precision. Ebbing and flowing, building and breaking down when you least expect it, the quartet travel from classic indie-rock in hit single ‘The World’s Biggest Paving Slab’, through to jazz-blues in ‘Sideboob’, via a quick detour into jangling college rock in ‘Nearly Daffodils’, and even grabbing a handful of goth in ‘The Best Tears Of Your Life’.

There’s no other way to put it, really. This is an absolute masterpiece. Sure, not everybody gets to go to space, but English Teacher prove that we’ve got more than enough stars here on Earth.

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