Release Date: Mar 6, 2020
Record label: Ample Play
The main reference point for many when considering Cornershop will still be their 1997 hit single Brimful Of Asha but they've pursued a distinctive, solitary path since then, collaborating with other artists and taking inspiration from other genres while gently subsuming them into their own music. England Is A Garden is their ninth album and it sees the duo of Tjinder Singh and Ben Ayres build on this key strength like they did on albums like 2002's Handcream For A Generation and 2009's Judy Sucks A Lemon For Breakfast. It's their first album of new material since 2012's Urban Turban (if you discount Hold On It's Easy, their relatively curveball 2015 easy listening rerecording of their debut album Hold On It Hurts) and it also shows they still have political and social messages to project in their quietly outspoken style.
Cornershop are reminiscent of Primal Scream - well-read, politically informed survivors of indie rock, who came to national attention with a well-chosen remix, and are still happy to try any number of musical styles to please themselves as much as their audience. Both acts carry a torch for the eternal pleasure of putting a song on and feeling something, and for that, almost anything can be forgiven. Seventies glam, stoner rock and 60s psych are constants, but Cornershop wander away from more familiar paths in intriguing directions, always with an endearingly ramshackle feel that belies the cleverness of their arrangements.