Brighton trailblazers Will And The People have released what can only be described as a shot of pure brilliance; there’s nothing to be a-shame-d about here!
Four-piece Will And The People have made their name through a combination of their raucously engaging live shows and the sheer frantic fun of their music. Over the course of three albums and a string of addictive singles, they have assembled a fanatically loyal fan base — and rightly so. Having seen them live, we can attest to their showmanship being unparalleled as a band; seeing them on tour with Barns Courtney back in November was as fun a night as we can ever remember having.
Since then, the band has spent ten days self-producing 25 songs, with the plan of releasing them one by one — meaning that there is still yet to look forward to! However, Shame, their latest single, is perhaps their best work yet. The track is surprisingly short, yet through its infectious hook becomes endlessly repeatable, snappy to its core. The track has even been shortened from its live sibling, condensing the latter half into a smaller section, yet retains the frenzied energy of a live show. Which, given that live shows are presumably unlikely to be happening any time soon, is as good as anyone could ever hope.
‘Will Rendle’s vocals perfectly toe the line between a sense of endearing playfulness and a distinct tone of political outrage’
Now, it would be fair to say that everyone feels shame over one thing or another, even animals. Whether it is the time wasted when you could have been more productive, an old flame that you regret caring for, or the experiences passed up in a pre-lockdown world that seems so far away, no-one is exempt. But Shame takes it to a whole new level: the inherent shame existing in society today, the fickle selfishness plaguing the population as we fail to look after one another, or even the world itself. To this end, Will Rendle’s vocals perfectly toe the line between a sense of endearing playfulness and a distinct tone of political outrage, an outlet for repressed guilt; the track retains a joyful insouciance while raging against the dying of morality. “The song is both a social commentary and a self-reflective outburst” he tells us, “about the chaos of the world” – and it is in this chaos that the band thrive, blending genres and styles at will to create, seemingly quite effortlessly, a masterpiece. Opening with a deceptively simple piano-led riff, which acts as a guiding hand throughout, the song quickly becomes something more: a sleazy yet sublime piece of rock, full of energy and harmonies which, if perhaps not conventionally ethereal in their beauty, are perfect. They even manage a not-so-subtle name drop (of sorts), asking how the selfishness of people in charge can really represent the “Will of the People”, if they only think of themselves.
Ultimately, though, the song can be summed up in just one line, borrowed from its own pre-chorus: “from chaos comes something that’s beautiful”. ‘Shame’ is all that and more: mania-laced mayhem in a guise of barely contained joy.
Writer: James O’Sullivan @JSully2510