What better way to begin this project, Born in Britain, than with a band that were explicit about just that? Just Handshakes formerly went by the moniker Just Handshakes (We’re British), and though they’ve dropped the parentheses (I couldn’t help myself but include a cheap joke of said punctuation), they still leave no doubt about their heritage, hailing more specifically from Leeds.
An indie-pop band garnering more and more attention in the internet world, they have released several singles through the years since 2008, though the only full-length release so far has been a limited edition tape with the self-aware title Tapes, featuring recordings done in their basement during Easter 2012.
Due to release their debut album ‘Say It’ on California-based Bleeding Gold Records on the 20th of May, they have just released their single, London Bound, accompanied by a video. A hazy, slightly mournful indie-pop ditty as front-woman Clara Patrick croons in a fragile voice, “All our friends are London bound/They leave without making a sound” at the end of the tune. Though the lyrics may give the impression of nostalgia, the whole thing remains perfectly bittersweet as you can’t help but shake a little to the jangly and riffy guitar driving the song forward. And the best part is, you can download the single for free via Bleeding Gold Records bandcamp here.
Some of their main influences are Television, the Smiths and David Bowie. Though these are big names that many a band are not only inspired by, but end up sounding not (at all) dissimilar to, thankfully Just Handshakes have very much their own sound, though the influences are understandable and natural.
Just Handshakes have opened for some indie-cred worthy artists like Still Corners and TEEN, so they’ve already received the musician’s musician stamp of approval. Get your fingers and ears into this band before they blow up, and look forward to be able to sing a long on their forthcoming tour after their impending release. For the time being, you can purchase their basement-recorded Tapes album via bandcamp for a mere £5 (skip a beer or two this Friday—it’s worth it) to tide you over. However, there are only a few copies left out of an edition of 150, so hurry!
For more information, tour dates, and listening: www.justhandshakeswerebritish.tumblr.com