This is what we need at the moment; a jaunty quality bit of pop. It is no surprise that Stockport and Manchester area darlings Kashmere deliver it to us bop on the nose. Kashmere have long cemented their reputation for top tier accessible bangers over the past couple of years, but with new release Drive, they certainly take it up a gear.
OK I’ll stop with the car analogies right here at the start, I promise.
The band describe Drive as being inspired by Gary Numan’s seminal hit Cars, and with lyrics that offer a sense of being in a bubble with a loved one, and that feeling of being together, and being able to really open up. To my mind, the sentiment of the lyrics also chime with some of our experiences during lockdown. Many of we luckier ones felt a little bit safe, warm and cosy at home; perhaps with toilet rolls piled up like sandbags in a bunker: a soft familiar barricade against an uncertain outside.
Drive has one of those tunes that is even more catchy than covid. I had heard it twice, maybes three. Then later, during the early awake hours with my beloved snuffling gently in her sleep beside me, it was swirling nicely in my head.
The song of course may be inspired as Numan’s love child, but Drive is where the electro has a much warmer and friendlier feel. If you like the 1975, but kind of wish the band sometimes had a bit more testosterone flowing through their spuds, then Kashmere, who retain just an edge of their earlier heavier roots, would definitely hit the spot.
On this release, Kashmere offer a double dose of treat with a second track, the slightly disconbobulating I Wish I Was Still Alive. Here the vibe to my mind is around someone who has retreated from the world but reflecting on a lost relationship and wishing they could still engage, but feeling totally spent. At least I hope that’s what it’s about. There’s a really powerful emotion in a bouncy quality pop song here, and it doesn’t get much better than this. Musically, the song is a perfect companion piece to Drive and in perfect Numan era 80’s Radio 1 parlance, the release would be a double A side.
Overall Kashmere totally deliver with this release, and the lads have 3 banging gigs lined up for 2021 in London Victoria Dalston on 7th April, what will prove to be a banging home gig at Manchester Gorilla on the 9th, and Glasgow Garage Attic on the 10th. Having seen these lads perhaps half a dozen times down the years, I can tell you they are gonna be solid.
*images taken from the band’s social media and press pack.