Debut EP National Trust from Blanketman layers laidback vocals on top of dynamic instrumentation and post-punk soundscapes.
Manchester-based band Blanketman have given us their debut EP National Trust – a lively set of tracks that lyrically ‘represents a lot of the stresses to millennial life’ and sonically manages to feel both refreshing and old-school at the same time. The EP opens with the single Beach Body, guaranteed to remain in your head for a while with its catchy refrain (‘Lift off! Lift off!’) and energetic bassline.
Leave The South addresses the UK’s North-South divide – a familiar concept to many of us. The band’s lead vocalist and guitarist Adam Hopper describes how the song talks about his experience of living in Reading whilst at university. He says: ‘While not a bad place, … I found myself feeling increasingly isolated and skint. I managed to convince myself that moving back up North would solve all my problems like it was some kind of utopia and started blaming where I was for said problems. I laugh at that now and that’s what the song is about.’
Elsewhere, we are treated to nostalgic-sounding vocal harmonies mixed in with rhythmic drums in Harold, a song that deals with themes such as fears and night terrors, whilst Dogs Die In Hot Cars is easily a highlight – upbeat, melodic, and particularly notable for the vocal imitations of a dog in the chorus (strange though it sounds, it works). Meanwhile, the titular track National Trust addresses the concept of escapism with a relentless guitar drone above the rhythm of the chorus and the bass.
On the whole, National Trust is an EP to have on repeat. Whilst the vocals are a little overshadowed by the heavy instrumentation at times, this doesn’t take away from the overall feel of the record. Moreover, Blanketman’s ability to juxtapose more serious-sounding themes with continuously upbeat drums and guitar make them a much-needed breath of fresh air.