Home > New music > Poetry set atop searing and confrontational guitar riffs

As gentle acoustic guitar strums and skillfully-crafted poetry descend into an exhilarating crescendo of steady and majestic drums, jubilant riffs and increasingly urgent vocals, “The Sea Has No Friends” ingeniously boasts the band’s breadth.

Straying slightly from the rip-roaring post-punk of their earlier singles, the new track stays true to the band’s knack for capturing the imagination and evoking the sights and sounds of a specific — and at times long-forgotten — moment in time. 

“It was quite the reflective day when I wrote that piece. Words and melody were both written in half an hour. It’s just two entwined memories really: one is of my older relatives sharing stories of their loved ones in the war, and secondly the opening line, ‘the sea has no friends’, are words my dad used to describe the sea.”

Of the story behind the track, vocalist and songwriter Garran Hickman explained

Headshrinkers are Garran Hickman (vocals), James Knott (guitar), Xavier Al-Naqib (bass) and Scarlett Churchill (drums, backing vocals). Having formed in 2019 and bonded over a shared vision of capturing the intricacies of modern life within their music, the Black Country-based foursome have been quick to make a name for themselves on their local music scene and beyond. 

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Carving out an unmistakable sound characterised by its unflinching poetry set atop searing and confrontational guitar riffs, thunderous basslines and pummeling drums, Headshrinkers were dubbed as Brum Radio’s ‘Band of the Year’ for 2020 and named on This Feeling’s ‘Big in 2021’ list.

With a run of early singles under their belt including the rugged and raucous ‘Doorway Conversation’, menacingly poetic ‘Interrobang’ and anthemic recent release ‘Monocle’, Headshrinkers have attracted praise from the likes of Louder Than War and The Revue amongst others.

Dubbed as “noisy, moody and absolutely brilliant” by Happy People, the band’s sound has been described as “incendiary post-punk laced with stunning poetic majesty” by This Feeling. With comparisons to Joy Division and a commendation for their “clear intellectual depth” coming from Our Sound MusicAfter Paris also commended Headshrinkers for their “pounding, high energy instrumentals” that “combine perfectly with vocals akin to the most exciting bands in the UK’s thriving punk scene.” 


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