Over the past year or so, emerging London-dance punk/post-punk duo Shelf Lives — Sabrina Di Guilio and Jonny Hillyard — have released a handful of singles that have seen them quickly earn comparisons to Le Tigre, CSS, Sleigh Bells and others.
The British duo’s latest single “Off The Rails” is a dance punk/post punk ripper built around a frantic and propulsive beat, squiggly synths, scorching, angular guitar attack paired with Di Guilio’s sultry cooing and feral shouts. It’s a winning and irresistible mix of sultry and sleazy reminiscent of Is Is EP-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Ting Tings but rooted in incisive, satirical social commentary.
“In our current era, we stand fully aware that consumerism fails to fullfil our genuine needs,” the members of Shelf Lives explain. “Despite this knowledge, we remain fiercely hooked, unable to let go. The notion that was intended to make us feel exceptional actually leaves us feeling ordinary and in this perpetual cycle of wanting more. The track is that moment of realisation that we can’t ‘fall off the rails’ because despite all of the ‘stuff’ we buy into we’re still ‘none in a million’ The problem is we hesitate to be the first to abandon the obsession in fear that we’ll be the only one and end up feeling isolated anyway.”