It’s three years on from These New Puritans’ bold and brilliant ‘Hidden’, and it still feels like a statement few bands of their generation have even dared – let alone successfully pulled off. Now a rejigged four-piece – with Sophie Sleigh-Johnson replaced by jazz singer Elisa Rodrigues – the Southend group return with third LP ‘Field Of Reeds’ next month.
Fragment Two doesn’t carry the same battle-cry intensity that was felt on ‘Hidden’ centrepieces like We Want War, but it picks up where their previous album left off in terms of sonic sophistication. Piano, brass, strings and organ are layered over bass and cascading drums, its unassuming beauty becoming increasingly apparent as it opens itself up. Some may initially bemoan the maturation on show on here – ‘Hidden’‘s all-encompassing instrumentation was still frequently charged by the most intense of club-culture energy – but Fragment Two is a subtle composition and deserves time for appropriate digestion. Stream it below.