London/Glasgow-based post-punk trio Shopping stay true to their minimal dance-punk ethos while “amping up the party vibe” on their third full-length album, The Official Body, set for a January 19th release via FatCat Records. In conjunction with the album announcement, the band -- Rachel Aggs (guitar, vocals), Billy Easter (bass, vocals) and Andrew Milk (drums, vocals) -- share the video for the album’s first official single, “The Hype,” a song about thinking for yourself, taking matters into your own hands and not listening to other people or institutions that try to take advantage and tell you what to think or how to be.
After the release of their debut album, Consumer Complaints, and follow up, 2015’s Why Choose, Shopping found themselves in an unrelenting cycle of touring. Meanwhile, in London, Power Lunches, a hub for the city’s DIY scene and the band’s usual rehearsal and writing space closed down. Upon returning from tour, Milk relocated to Glasgow. The distance added an element of pressure: “As a band that only ever writes collaboratively, it’s essential for us to actually be together in the room before any songs start to formulate. It can be a little daunting when we all turn up, and we only have an afternoon to pull a song out of thin air.” Add to that a sprinkling of Brexit, Trump, a principally imploding world, and you’ve got yourself The Official Body.
Recorded and produced over 10 days by Edwyn Collins at his Clashnarrow studio, The Official Body is an album in which the thematic gravitas contrasts with the band’s evolving sound. “We've always felt like what we do is political in that it's cathartic and healing in some way, but at some point it just felt like making 'political' music was a bit like putting a tiny band aid on an enormous wound,” says Aggs as she describes the sense of disorientation that lies at the foundation of the album. While it may have been tempting to adopt a more serious tone, Shopping remained humorous in their approach — the album’s title, The Official Body, is a play on the idea of official bodies of power and control, “the mystical powers that be” as Easter deems them, as well as the construct of a physical body that fits within the societal paradigm of what is “acceptable.”
“The Hype” is Shopping at its best: barbed invective set to a prickly, dancefloor-ready groove.”
“one of Shopping’s loosest, funkiest songs to date. . . ‘The Hype’ is a great sign of things to come.”
- NPR Music