SINGLE REVIEW: Modern Yuppies by Home Counties
Bristol-based outfit Home Counties released their new single Modern Yuppies this week, the first of two self-produced singles to be released via Alcopop Records. The new song arrives hot on the heels of the band’s debut EP Redevelopment which was released in September 2020. Modern Yuppies sees the band move away from the indie guitar-laden sound of their EP, and instead embrace experimentation through synth-driven, post-funk hooks, while preserving their playful, socially-charged attitude.
Home Counties are: Will Harrison (vocals/guitar), Conor Kearney (guitar/vocals), Barn Peiser Pepin (synth/percussion/vocals), Sam Woodroffe (bass/synth) and Dan Hearn (drums).
Formerly known as Haze, the band rebranded as Home Countries in January 2020 and have since distinguished themselves as a key act to watch, with radio support from Huw Stephens and Jack Saunders (BBC Radio 1), Amy Lame and Tom Robinson (BBC 6 Music) and Matt Wilkinson (Beats 1). Debut EP Redevelopment secured the band as ones to follow in the indie-rock scene, with their sharp wit and angular guitars sure to be a hit for fans of Courting, Sports Team, and Walt Disco. Tunes like title-track Redevelopment and Dad Bod cemented Home Counties as a fresh band with political lyrics, fervent drums, and a satirical demeanour - and new song Modern Yuppies takes all of those elements to the next level.
Speaking on the shift in direction, singer Will Harrison comments: "Synths and drum machines were already something we were very keen to explore and 2020 provided us with an unexpected amount of free time to experiment. We dialled the disco influences up to the max and totally embraced that 70's-cop-drama vibe for this pair of stand-alone singles. It feels like a bold declaration of who we are and it definitely gives a clearer taste of where we’re heading for our next EP."
Modern Yuppies is a whimsical explosion of retro synths, playful percussion, and tongue-in-cheek lyricism. The track takes the post-punk-influenced indie-rock of the Redevelopment EP and rearranges the staple Home Counties sound into a weird and wonderful danceable earworm. Lyrically, the song takes charming jabs at the monotonous capitalist spiral of "living, striving, working, buying" that is engrained into modern society. With its comical harmonies and funky synths, Modern Yuppies builds a rhythmic, magnetic momentum until it ends on the stark deadpan vocals of the singular lyric "dying" - leaving you eager to press play and fall into its surrealist disco-infused madness all over again.
"The song is a comparison between the young urban professionals of the 1980's to those of today," explains Will, speaking on the single’s lyrical content. "It discusses the differences, the way that arrogance and conservatism have made way for self-doubt and socially 'liberal' political positions. Ultimately however, they are both plagued by the same condition - of constantly needing more."
Even for a band as young and fresh as Home Counties, it's exciting to see them experimenting with their sound so early on in their discography. It makes us even more enthusiastic about their future releases, because who the fuck knows what kind of fantastical tunes we'll get from them next?
Modern Yuppies provides an exciting first glimpse of a band evolving beyond their indie roots by combining their aptness for pointed guitar work with a more flamboyant retro texture. It's still the Home Counties that you love, but with an added synth spark. And in these trying times, who doesn't need a bit of indie disco-funk to brighten their day?
Review by Chloe Robbins
Photography by Naz Stone