These New Puritans (sometimes abbreviated to TNPS) are a four-piece band from the Southend-on-Sea area. The band consists of Jack Barnett (song writer, co-producer, instrumentalist and vocalist), his twin brother George Barnett (drums, tapes, design), Thomas Hein (bass guitar, sampler) and Sophie Sleigh-Johnson (keyboards). They are currently in the process of recording their second album.
In a 2007 interview with The Cuckoo Press Magazine, Jack said that "Wu-Tang Clan are massively influential. Artrocker Magazine has described TNPS as sounding like "Sheffield and Berlin synths, '90s alt rock Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo drones; Underworld beats, and all in the most contemporary of contexts," while in a review of Beat Pyramid, Vice Magazine said "Sharp, strange and enchanting, there aren't many bands around like These New Puritans."
NME has been divided on the band reviewing one early single "Somebody once attempted to convince us that These New Puritans are original. They failed...", however they gave the album an 8/10 rating, stating "Truly, this band is leagues ahead of the competition" and "it wasn't exactly easy listening to say the least, but ... the Puritans made most of their contemporaries look like they were standing still, offering a span of ideas and a singularity of vision that just shouldn't happen to 20-year-olds. They created their own imperfect world."
Unusually for a rock band, TNPS often incorporate sections of their music into several different songs. Most notably, the "Colours that you don't see" section of Navigate Navigate that appears twice on Beat Pyramid, on Colours and Navigate-Colours. They were questioned on the subject during an interview:
Interviewer: Repetition of song fragments across multiple songs seems to be a theme on the album. Does the context of the individual songs change the meaning of the repeated bits? Or did you just intend it to be a refrain? Jack Barnett: It's a refrain - I'm planning to have refrains that span multiple albums as well.
TNPS have been involved with Hedi Slimane, having recorded the song ("Navigate, Navigate") for the Dior Homme Show 2007. Both the music and collection received positive reviews.
Along with other locally based artists, they were involved with the 'Experimental Circle Club' and (now defunct) 'Junk Club' nights - responsible for popularising the majority of acts in what became known as the "Southend Scene", such as The Violets, XX Teens, No Bra, and most notably The Horrors. It should be noted that Jack Barnett performed solo on the first ECC night on 18 November 2006.
They have also worked with Sunni-Geini in June 2007. More recently, they were involved in an art/dance performance at Palais de Tokyo for the after show of Stage of the Art. In an early 2008 interview with Plan B magazine, Barnett revealed that "right now, I'm writing music that's like dancehall meets Steve Reich ... I've just been recording B-sides, and a song that's all drums and trains, but it's more or less pop music. I don't know if we'll change our minds, but I've been writing a lot of music for bassoon."
So far the band has toured in support of, amongst others, Crystal Castles, British Sea Power, The Kills, Blood Red Shoes and Klaxons.
- Beat Pyramid (UK: 28 January 2008, US:18 March 2008) #188 UK
- "Now Pluvial" (30 October 2006) – 7" EP
- "Navigate, Navigate" (21 May 2007) – 12"/Digital download
- "Numbers"/"Colours" (5 November 2007) – 7"
- "Elvis E.P." (21 January 2008) – 7"/CD
- "Swords of Truth" (5 May 2008) 7"/12"/Digital download
These New Puritans have contributed songs to the following CD compilations:
Biography from Wikipedia