Shopping burst onto the scene in 2013 with Consumer Complaints, an album of highly danceable, angular post-punk. With Rachel Aggs on guitar and vocals, Billy Easter on bass, and Andrew Milk on drums, the trio was originally based in London until Aggs' and Milk's recent moves to Glasgow.
“The move...made [the writing] quite focused,” Aggs says.
The result is Official Bodies, a stellar new record that shows Shopping at their prime.
“[The title] is sort of a joke on the official bodies of power and structure, be it government or corporate,” explains Aggs. “But it’s also the perceived idea of what is acceptable of a body in terms of gender or physical body types.”
Written in the midst of Brexit and Trump’s election, the album is a tight, hip-shaking exploration of power and identity politics.
“I hope it doesn’t come across like we’re trying to ‘cash in,’” Aggs says, “but I think our music always talks about the things that happen in the world and affect us. We’re finding ways of dealing with them.”
Reminiscent of nowave heroes ESG and post-punks like Au Pairs, the band dresses up its minimalism with synths and drum machines.
“I was always more interested in making noises and jumping around than I was about being some virtuoso player,” says Aggs. “I like people who play fast and rhythmically. We want to make music that is fun and danceable, and this is the sound that comes out. It’s immediate music.”
Tumultuous times are the best time to dance and Shopping are glad to provide a soundtrack.
“Recently, playing shows has been so fun, because I think we always talk about catharsis and dance as a form—our bodies taking up space, and also being queer people, being people of color, it’s important to take up space and be weird and dance,” Aggs says. “We talk a lot about it, then go on the road...the more we talk, the more people are prepared to dance and lose their shit. It’s the best thing.”