These New Puritans have been nursing their obsession with the obscure for over a decade now. Inspired by spirit guides of the British musical landscape from Talk Talk to Bark Psychosis and Throbbing Gristle alumni Coil and Current 93, brothers Jack and George Barnett have assembled a stellar body of work that suggests a secret history of English pop, a looking-glass realm full of pagan echoes and strange mystical yearnings.
“We were always determined to plough our own furrow,” Jack told us in a profile for Dazed, published today, outlining the band’s singular approach to music-making. “You always want to make something that is without irony, something that (deals) with extremes of your experience in life, and in a way that’s risky, because you expose yourself more. But that’s the art I like; art that gets to the heart of things.”
It’s this sense of a mythical England-not-England that the band were asked to tackle with their new mixtape for Dazed, which they’re sharing in honour of their fourth album, Inside the Rose. They’ve responded with a mix that brings together many of these influences, alongside choice cuts from drum’n’bass-era Bowie (a firm fave of George’s), Essex brethren Depeche Mode and late composer John Tavener, whose music featured at Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. The late Mark Hollis also makes an appearance, via Talk Talk’s signature pop tune “It’s My Life”.
Elsewhere, there’s a typically unsettling number from Current 93, whose frontman David Tibet guests on Inside the Rose, beatific jungle from Boymerang (a side-project from Graham Sutton, the band’s producer), and a brief cameo from Sir Elton John, also a friend to the late people’s princess. A witty and surprising mix, in short, from a band that’s always excelled at bringing hidden worlds to light.
Listen to the mix below, and read our full interview with These New Puritans about Inside the Rose here.
01. David Bowie, “We Prick You” 02. Autechre, “Clipper” 03. Depeche Mode, “Policy of Truth” 04. Digital and Spirit, “Phantom Force” 05. Michael Nyman, “Fish Beach” 06. Coil, “Triple Sun” 07. Bark Psychosis, “The Loom” 08. Kate Bush, “Lily” 09. Dizzee Rascal, “World Outside” 10. Boymerang, “Soul Beat Runna” 11. AFX, “Laughable Butane Bob” 12. Vessel, “Fantasma for Jasmine” 13. Cyclobe, “You’re Not Alone, You’re Asleep” 14. Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Sylvian, “Life, Life” 15. Yee King, “Goodnight Toby” 16. Talk Talk, “It’s My Life” 17. Prefab Sprout, “The King of Rock’n’Roll” (Edit) 18. Current 93, “I Looked to the South Side of the Door” 19. John Tavener, “Fuschia’s Funeral” 20. Elton John, “Song for Guy”