Last Friday was a monumental day for indie-pop collective Clean Cut Kid. They finally released their highly anticipated second album Painwave and marked the event with an exclusive stripped back show at London’s Banquet Records that evening.

The Liverpudlian four-piece took a major step in choosing to part ways with their major record label and release the 15-track project independently. Having done everything themselves in their home studio (watch the building process here) using traditional analogue methods, keys player and vocalist Evelyn Halls said “We’ve never sought after anyone else’s opinion when it comes to the music, the look and the sound – even down to tiny things like fonts on a website we’ve known exactly what we wanted. With a major label, it is very, very hard if not impossible to have control over those kind of things. We needed the freedom to make this record exactly how we wanted and it has been amazing, to be honest.”

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What’s your favourite track off Painwave so far?

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Despite the themes of this record covering raw negative emotions such as guilt and abandonment, it still maintains the poppy feel established in its predecessor, debut Felt. Opening interlude ‘Oh God!’ is almost ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’-like; full of large gospel vocals and atmospheric synths that guide you into the sudden blues rock riffs of ‘Carry You’, which introduces a scuzzy pop funk feel that is carried throughout. Clean Cut Kid’s DIY approach finds the sweet spot between unpolished and expertly refined.

It’s been met with a widely positive reception, named Radio 1’s Jack Saunders’ #AlbumForTheWeekend as well as had support from the likes of Clash who premiered the music video for ‘I Don’t Like You But I Love You’. Popped Music also commented “Clean Cut Kid have produced an album that works as a whole but has those standout 3-minute punches of indie pop made for radio.  It’s a fuzzy anthemic sound that refuses to be contained by the limits of its makeshift studio and is set to take live venues and festivals by storm in the coming months.”

Such recent live shows have been described as “alluring” (Love Music; Love Life), and inclusive and full of love (Popped Music), while the standard is expected to clime with each one.

Clean Cut Kid will perform at Neighbourhood Weekender on Sunday 26th May so get your tickets now!