The Official Body is the third album of British post-punk outlet Shopping. And it is the first record of 2018 that I think is worth mentioning on this blog.

Rachel Aggs, Billy Easter and Andrew Milk are based in both London and Glasgow. Both Aggs and Easter sing lead vocals and sometimes as a duet. The music is really “mesmerizing” as Pitchfork has pointed out.

“Shopping are not reinventing the wheel and they do not need to—the halls of post-punk are already too full of guitars that are angular. The trio is so refreshing and exhilarating because of the space they elbow-out for themselves and the vibrant spirit they pump into the exhausted genre, proving that simply adding some cavernous echo to a track isn’t enough.”

Singer/guitarist Rachel Aggs is active in some other projects and has been a part of Sacred Paws who won “Scottish Album of the Year 2017” with their first work Strike A Match. Aggs guitar is both influenced by the post-punk that is audible on Shopping’s new record but also by West African highlife, a musical style primarily known in Ghana.

In a 2016 interview with The Highlighter, Aggs said: “I think our music is kind of an escape route, a little bit. Because it’s political but it’s also like, okay, but just dance. Just scream, and freak out. You don’t have to have everything fully formulated right now. ”

And that’s exactly what The Official Body is. One of this new year’s finest records yet. Enjoy.