Just Handshakes released their long awaited debut album Say It in May 2013, following a string of singles and EP’s. Back in the haze of my uni days, I remember watching the band performing under their previous moniker Just Handshakes, We’re British, in small, sweaty gig venues at the heart of the Leeds music scene.
Although their sound has developed considerably since then, listening to new single ‘Kiwi’ took me instantly back there. It’s the sort of indie pop that makes you yearn for your teenage years, brimming with summery nostalgia, heartache and days gone by.
“I’ve never felt this way before / And can’t you see you’ve got me hooked and wanting more?” Clara Patrick‘s fragile voice channels effortless 90s cool reminiscent of Cranberries front-woman Dolores O’Riordan. Her vocal exudes adolescent lustfulness and uncertainty, but at the same time she imparts a certain air of knowing.
‘Kiwi’ explores the age old theme of unrequited love, “I like to be with you, but you like your own company”. Although she tries in vain to forget about her love interest, Patrick’s repeatedly croons, “It hasn’t seemed to happen yet”. Her melody is echoed by fuzzy guitar riffs and dreamy backing vocals.
This is a brilliant single taken from an album that’s well worth a listen if you haven’t already discovered the charms of this Leeds based four piece. Just Handshakes kick off their Europeran tour in London on 29th January, followed by dates in France, Germany and Belgium.