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We Reviewed The New Single from Nat Dempsey & The Near Strangers – ‘Run and Hide’

While it goes without saying Manchester has a reputation for being one of the strongest musical cities in the UK, such acclaim also comes with its downsides. For every band with something interesting to say, or that harbours and individual sound, there’s more that are happy riding coattails and going through motions.

Thankfully, Nat Dempsey & The Near Strangers aren’t one of those bands.

Having made his name primarily as a solo artist until now, the addition of a full-band has enabled Dempsey to move away from the ramshackle indie-pop of those earlier releases, and moved in to something richer, fuller and more encompassing. It’s not quite a full departure from his roots, but there has a been maturing process since his last release, allowing, Dempsey, and now his band to, to veer between elegant indie pop and skittering post-punk with a wild and wilful abandon.

Indeed, not so much a reinvention as it is a recalibration that sees Dempsey, and now his band, shifting gear and taking things up a notch. The first taste of said material, and of the full band proper, is ‘Run and Hide‘. Three minutes of radio-friendly indie that’s built around treble-heavy percussion and subtle bass, the result is an understated bottom end that allows Dempsey’s voice to soar over the instrumentation.

Building up towards a chorus that rears its head out of nowhere, the improvement between previous solo single ‘Heresy’ is nothing short of impressive, and the minute the first chorus explodes from your speakers it’s impossible not grin like a shit-eating idiot. This is how indie should be done in 2022. Big, bold and brash, but still wearing its heart on its sleeve. Excellent stuff.