English Teacher Debut “R&B”

English Teacher Debut new music video for "R&B"
English Teacher photo by Photo Credit: Denmarc Creary

After the recent announcement of their debut album, This Could Be Texas, which will arrive on April 12th via Island Records, English Teacher have shared album track “R&B.” The album was Produced and mixed by Marta Salogni (black midi, Depeche Mode, Björk), This Could Be Texas explores far-ranging themes including social issues, struggling to belong, mental health and science fiction. The band includes Lily Fontaine (vocals, rhythm guitar, synth), Douglas Frost (drums, piano, vocals), Nicholas Eden (bass) and Lewis Whiting (lead guitar)

“We’ve not stopped for almost a decade. It’s been brilliant and exhausting in equal parts,” Fontaine says, reflecting on the band’s ascent over the last five years. The four began writing music together after meeting while students at Leeds Conservatoire. Early support from local UK and Leeds organizations who regularly played their earliest offerings helped lead to a signing with indie label Nice Swan Records. Their debut EP, Polyawkward, followed in 2022. English Teacher has toured with Parquet Courts and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

“Sonically and lyrically, the album is about not being quite like one thing, nor quite like another, existing in that space between being assigned a choice and completing it where anything is possible,” comments Fontaine. Many of her lyrics are observational as she takes snippets of daily life and finds the bigger meanings in them. On several songs, she reflects on growing up as a mixed-race individual in a place “where many didn’t have understanding or even tolerance towards people who are different,” which only became more evident as she gained adulthood in the era of the Brexit referendum. Literary references abound; as well as George Orwell, there are nods to William Wordsworth, Anthony Burgess, Charlotte Brontë and Greek literature.

“R&B” grapples with the unfair judgements placed on Fontaine as a frontwoman of color. “The shivering truth of the mattеr is so easy to see/If I have stuff to write, thеn why don’t I just write it for me?/Despite appearances, I haven’t got the voice for R&B,” she sings about the prejudices she’s faced in the music industry and beyond. “There’s a lot of judgment that I had early on. Being a woman of color fronting a band shouldn’t even be a thing to talk about; we need to just get on with it – only then will the narrative around that change.”

Commenting ahead of the single’s arrival, Fontaine explained: “When I was with him I had writer’s block and to add insult to irony, the only idea I had was for an R&B top line – the genre people always assumed I worked in. As soon as he ended it, I converted that top line into the lyrics and riff for ‘R&B,’ and took it to my three best mates. Putting the effort that you could potentially put into a partner, back into yourself and your career, is cool and sexy and gets you signed to Island Records and writing press quotes in a tour van in Holland and you get to meet Jools Holland. Thanks lad.”

Of the video directed by Sarah Oglesby and Sodium Films, the group revealed: “This is an ode to 2021’s original ‘R&B’ video and to Douglas snogging himself. It’s an ode to self-love and an ode to not putting up with bullshit. It’s an ode to the chaos of the calm and the calm of the chaos. It’s an ode to the greatest TV show of all time – The Shivering Truth. Here’s to theatre and here’s to behind the scenes. We fight. We break up. We kiss. We make up.”

English Teacher
This Could Be Texas
Island Records

1. Albatross
2. The World’s Biggest Paving Slab
3. Broken Biscuits
4. I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying
5. Mastermind Specialism
6. This Could Be Texas
7. Not Everybody Gets To Go To Space
8. R&B
9. Nearly Daffodils
10. The Best Tears Of Your Life
11. You Blister My Paint
12. Sideboob
13. Albert Road

English Teacher 2024 Tour Dates

Sat. Feb. 17 – Hamburg, DE @ Molotow *
Sun. Feb. 18 – Berlin, DE @ Cassiopeia *
Tue. Feb. 20 – Munchen, DE @ Kranhalle *
Thu. Feb. 22 – Groningen, NL @ Vera *
Fri. Feb. 23 – Rotterdam, NL @ Rotown *
Sat. Feb. 24 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso Tolhuistuin *
Wed. May 8 – Brighton, UK @ Concorde 2
Thu. May 9 – Portsmouth, UK @ Wedgewood Rooms
Fri. May 10 – Bristol, UK @ Thekla
Sat. May 11 – Cardiff, UK @ Clwb lfor Bach
Mon. May 13 – Oxford, UK @ The Bullingdon
Wed. May 15 – Sheffield, UK @ The Foundry
Thu. May 16 – Leeds, UK @ Irish Centre
Fri. May 17 – Edinburgh, UK @ Mash House
Sat. May 18 – Glasgow, UK @ King Tuts
Tue. May 21 – Belfast, UK @ Ulster Sports Club
Wed. May 22 – Dublin, UK @ Whelan’s
Fri. May 24 – Manchester, UK @ Gorilla
Sat. May 25 – Birmingham, UK @ Castle and Falcon
Tue. May 28 – Nottingham, UK @ Rescue Rooms
Wed. May 29 – London, UK @ Electric Brixton

Pre-order This Could Be Texas by English Teacher HERE


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