A band I was incredibly intrigued by in 2020 was Blanketman who slowly climbed up my estimations with each release post Taking You With Me, which still feels like the ginger step child that lives under the stairs in their discography. I’m glad to say that with ‘Leave the South’ they have continued this upward trajectory, or at least stayed on the same stella level as previous single ‘Harold’.
They are back to their lyrical best, especially as a southerner who has migrated up north, the lyrics resonate with me all too well, with the playful slagging off of the myriad of reasons for leaving the south (or rather the very few reasons for staying) “and though the north can be quite grey, it’s too expensive down there anyway” ahh yes, the British youth’s eternal problem, to live in boredom or poverty? Summed up in a way only Blanketman could.
The instrumentation is also very pretty. They don’t reinvent the indie pop wheel but they put it to perfect use with beautifully jangly guitars and a bassline that bobs along throughout the track leaving an extremely pleasant taste in the listener’s mouth. The melodies are also by no means ground breaking but do the job and marry with the lyrics perfectly.
This may be the surprise great release of the year for me, not because I was expecting anything awful, but because Blanketman have been small part players that aren’t affiliated with a big label, or even a popular indie one like Speedy Wunderground to get hype around them. They’ve just got their EP to build its own hype, but you know what? If the rest of it sounds like Harold, LTS and Beach Body then they will soon be everyone’s favourite “I liked them before their first EP came out you know” band. Hop on before you hear a friend talk about them at a party and you end up looking like a clueless has been.