Clean Cut Kid channel emotion and vulnerability on new full-length effort Painwave.

Rewind back to the summer of 2017, we were making it our mission to have a presence at pretty much every UK music festival that summer (we didn’t do too badly either). One thing that is a solid memory of that summer is the sheer number of times we saw Clean Cut Kid filling the air with their summer friendly sounds.


Well, now they’re back with a brand-new album and we’re ready and raring to go to accidentally semi-follow them around the country again this summer. (Sorry CCK, you’re stuck with us.)


A lot has happened in the past two years for them though, they’ve parted ways with their label, lost a band member and… turned a shipping container into a studio. Yes, that’s right. They’ve said goodbye to traditional methods of recording and instead gone their own unique and incredibly freeing way.


It’s obviously done them some good as well, seeing as their new effort Painwave is a mighty 15-track catalogue of indie bangers. Released today, on what would have been Brexit day (another real ‘painwave’, eh) via Babe Magnet Records. Clean Cut Kid are on to something here.


Formerly speaking on the track, lead man Mike Halls described the album as “reaching out to the listener and saying: ‘let’s talk about these things we’re not meant to say out loud” and truth be told, that feels incredibly accurate.


Glazed with 1970’s goodness throughout, the follow up to 2017’s Felt has not disappointed at all. As Mike accurately describes it, it’s “an unpolished, uninterrupted tape-saturated 1970’s journey through human vulnerability.”


The oh-so-loved emotive, anthemic sound that has become the go-to expectation for Clean Cut Kid is ever present throughout this album. The formerly released ‘Emily’ and ‘I Don’t Like You But I Love You’ and ‘Deafening’ to start with, but ‘Carry You’ carries on the same summery vibes. These are the tracks to listen out for this summer, trust us.


Their talent for creating uplifting music for subjects that are not-quite-so happy is incredibly and one of the things we adore CCK for the most. There is so much emotion put into everything that they do, you can literally feel it… and whilst feeling real life feelings isn’t always that good, it’s not quite so bad when it’s paired with some absolute bops.


Elsewhere on the album, tracks such as ‘Say Nothing’ and ‘Slow Progress’ take things down a notch, creating a hazy lovelorn atmosphere. Whilst, ‘Oh God’ opens the effort with a stunning choral effect that’s reminiscent of the slower moments of Young Fathers.


‘Sports Day Smile’ ends the album in a suitable 1970’s way. Fuzzy, steady and with the wistful promise of more.


Catch Clean Cut Kid live on the following dates and stream their album in full below..


30 Edinburgh Mash House

31 Newcastle The Cluny



02 Southampton Joiners

03 London The Garage

05 Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach



03 Liverpool Cavern Club