The current political climate in the United Kingdom is one of unrest, verging on anarchy in many factions of society. Westminster leaps from one crisis to another; junior doctors’ contracts, cuts to disability benefit, the Panama Papers… the list goes on. And each time great swathes of the country become increasingly disillusioned at a perceived widening of disparity.
It’s against this backdrop that She Drew The Gun release their debut album, Memories Of The Future, with one song in particular seemingly capturing the general discontent felt across the country. As its title suggests, “Poem” started off with the band’s frontwoman Louisa Roach, channeling her disenchantment into words, and later turning it into song.
“Protect the banks, bring out the tanks if they disagree/ While we’re at it let’s invest some more in military/ All our friends have shares so why shouldn’t we,” she takes aim. It’s hard not to see how perfectly these words will sit with millions across the country. Indeed the song has received rave reviews from critics such as BBC Radio 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq, who has been a particular champion of the band since their infancy.
While the timing of the release of “Poem” couldn’t have been more apt, things have been moving at a great rate of knots for the band in the last few months, culminated by them winning Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition, which guarantees them a slot at this year’s festival on the John Peel Stage. It’s pleasing to see a band we’ve championed for several months starting to get the exposure we believe they deserve.
It was only a matter of time for She Drew The Gun, signed to Skeleton Key Records, the label of mentor and The Coral frontman Jame Skelly. In Roach, they have one of the most promising songwriters around – an obvious deep thinker who seemingly crafts her art with ease.
As well as “Poem”, a prime example of the songstress’ ability to put her thoughts into song is on opener and recent single, “Where I End And You Begin”, a song of reflection after one too heavy a night’s drinking, she told us upon its release. “And that’s the last time you’re making a fool of me/ I’m not gonna let you back in”, Roach tells herself.
The album, produced by James Skelly, has a sound of decades past with its understated percussion and the bluesy soulful vocals of Roach. While Memories Of The Future is mostly psych-pop, there are elements of folk in there too, most notably on “Pebbles”, which sees Roach perform solo with just an acoustic guitar and her delicate voice.
“Pit Pony”, the LP’s penultimate track, is its polar-opposite, led by a dirty bass riff that could be the brain-child of an Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes mashup. On an album full of them, “Be Mine” is a particular highlight, while debut single “If You Could See” sounds every bit as good as it did the first time we heard it over a year ago.
Emerging from the humble beginnings of Liverpool’s open mic circuit, Louisa Roach and She Drew The Gun are on the crest of a wave and we’re delighted to have watched it reach its crescendo. Such is their talent, we wouldn’t be surprised if this particular tide was a mere ripple on their way.
Stand out tracks: If You Could See, Be Mine, Since You Were Not Mine
Memories Of The Future is an absorbing debut album, and everything we hoped it would be. Louisa Roach has talent in spades and theirs is a journey we can't wait to continue following.