New Music Of The Day: JC Flowers – China Girl

Weird to think that 2016 is the year where Iggy Pop finally gets his dues. This cover of one of his greatest songs, by new east London quintet JC Flowers swaps the sleaze and spite of the Bowie-produced original for something even more tormented: British boredom.

The acoustic guitar upon which everything else here is built sounds almost bossa nova in places, while sonically the cover has all the charm of Television Personalities earliest recordings. Isabel Spurgeon and Edgar Smith’s twin falsetto is fantastic; intensifying the longer they go on, they end up substituting Ig’s bullish, pushy drawls for something far more melancholy. They sound rain-drenched and dreamy, but conversational too.

Both Spurgeon and Smith have considerable history in Hackney’s oft-ignored DIY scene, the former playing moog and singing back-up for Novella, while Smith is a writer – including a freelance stint at NME a few years back – and former member of noisy post punk act Advert. With JC Flowers, though, they’ve hit upon something that seems refreshing, as if they could potentially share a space with The Sundays without it seeming crass or clichéd. The album ‘Driving Excitement And The Pleasure of Ownership’ is out now, with ‘China Girl’ among its tracks.