Desperate Journalist is an noir-indie rock/post-punk quartet from North London who formed in February of 2013. They released one EP, two “heroically independent” singles, and one album. Their debut album was released on January 27 of this year. In this country, they’re signed to the Chicago-based Minty Fresh Records, while in the UK, they’re on Fierce Panda Records. Although they have label support and distribution on both sides of the Atlantic, the band really wants you to know that they’re fiercely independent.
Desperate Journalist has a little bit of punk, a little bit of post-punk, a little bit of good old-fashioned “alternative rock”. Like a lot of indie bands that came out of the UK in the mid-late 1980s, they have a little bit of shimmer and a lot of darkness.
You’ll see this in every single write-up about Desperate Journalist, so I might as well get it out of the way. Singer Jo Bevan has some Morrissey-esque qualities to her singing style. Not so much her voice, but her style. Her pacing, the way she emphasizes certain parts. It’s all very Morrissey-esque. Rob Hardy’s guitar work is sometimes reminiscent of Johnny Marr. So people say that Desperate Journalist reminds them of The Smiths. If The Smiths had a rougher edge and more muscle. And two girls.
I got something in the mail bag a month ago about the debut album, and as I was doing mailbag maintenance today, I realized that I never got around to writing about them.
Today’s song is on the brand new album, but it’s been around much longer than that. It’s the title track from an EP that was released in June of 2013, just after the band formed.
This is that song:
“Cristina” by Desperate Journalist
The bass is gloomy and post-punk. The guitar is mostly shimmery and bright. Bevan’s vocals fit right in the middle, towering when she needs to tower and understated when she wants to be. Note that at the end of the first and third choruses, drummer Caz Hellbent employs the iconic “Be My Baby” drum hook. It’s a really nice touch, and I fall for that hook every time someone uses it.
Here’s the official video, which is appropriately in black/white.