English Teacher: 2024

English Teacher (photo by Gus Philippas for FUV)
by Kara Manning | 01/21/2024 | 9:30am

English Teacher (photo by Gus Philippas for FUV)

The rapid trajectory of Leeds-based English Teacher has been exciting to witness. When the quartet of Lily Fontaine (vocals, rhythm guitar, synths), Lewis Whiting (lead guitar), Douglas Frost (drums, vocals) and Nicholas Eden (bass) released their first label single, "R&B," on Nice Swan back in April of 2021, still in the throes of the pandemic, the band was finally able to capitalize on the hard work that began with their first self-release in 2019. A series of singles followed, punctuated by a critically-acclaimed debut EP, Polyawkward, in 2022. That same year, they were shortlisted for Glastonbury's Emerging Talent Competition, performing at the festival on the John Peel stage, and they vaulted into high-profile opening slots for bands that included Yeah Yeah Yeahs, fellow Leeds pals Yard Act, and Parquet Courts.

English Teacher has since sold out their own headlining tours in Britain, signed to Island Records, and one week before they made their first visit to FUV's Studio A in November 2023 (and their first ever New York gig at Elsewhere), they made their television debut on "Later ... with Jools Holland" on BBC 2, a watershed moment for the UK group. This past Friday, they announced the release of their debut album, This Could Be Texas, released the 12th of April on Island. English Teacher have also been named as ambassadors of the UK's Independent Venue Week 2024, January 29-February 4, an honor previously bestowed upon artists such as beabadoobee, Wet Leg, Wolf Alice, and Arlo Parks.

On this "UKNY" and FUV Live session with this gifted young band, and a conversation that covers the making of English Teacher's debut album, produced by Marta Salongi (Björk, Animal Collective, Bon Iver), and the long road to English Teacher's rise, including the tears that were shed along the way.

Lily, Doug, Nick and Lewis also tear through three of the more rambunctious singles drawn from their debut album: "The World's Biggest Paving Slab," "Nearly Daffodils," and the song that helped set their early path, "R&B."

[Session recorded: 11/17/23; Engineered by Jim O'Hara and Zack Tomassi; produced by Kara Manning]

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