Born, raised and residing in Sheffield, a city synonymous with jarringly honest indie rock, Joe Carnall (Milburn) has been a reluctant figurehead of the Steel City scene for over a decade. Eager to explore a different space, he has embarked on a new venture with the help of Arctic Monkey’s Matt Helders. The result is Good Cop Bad Cop. Penned by Carnall and produced by Helders, the project resides in the not so grey area between man and machine.
The origins of Good Cop Bad Cop are deep rooted. As previous musical projects came to an end and the demands of fatherhood began to subside, Carnall found himself able to explore new concepts and ways of creating. “I locked myself away and became a master of GarageBand.” This reversion to a simple set up away from the constraints of multiple human inputs allowed Carnall to create the bare bones of a record that Helders would ultimately help shape into a finished product. Long-time friends and ex neighbours, Carnall sent a couple of his homemade demos across the pond solely because he thought Helders “would be into it.” This initial exchange sparked a bigger conversation about Helders trying his hand at production and making the record in his soon to be completed home studio in the Hollywood Hills (affectionately dubbed The Goldie Locks Zone).
Good Cop Bad Cop released their album earlier this year, the eleven-track LP features their debut release ‘Silk & Leather’ that emerged in February as a vintage-tinged, polished electronic canvas that would pick up immediate tastemaker attention from NME, DIY Magazine, Wonderland, The Line Of Best Fit and many more as well as strong UK Radio support from the likes of Radio X and BBC 6 Music. Full of Carnall’s brooding and perceptive, Julian Casablancas-esque melodies the record is underpinned by a warm blanket of noise akin to the likes of Timber Timbre and, at its most experimental, early James Blake. Drums aside, Carnall also plays every single instrument on the record.
Ultimately, Good Cop Bad Cop is Carnall’s way of making sense of his world past, present and future by harnessing outbursts of creativity. He writes with vigour, joy, passion, a touch of vitriol and overwhelming honesty. The collision of light and dark where, invariably, the sunshine always peaks through.