When times are hard for Britain, Sheffield produces brilliant electronic pop groups. The Human League in the 80s, Moloko in the early 90s… and now International Teachers of Pop, arriving ready for Brexit with a dazzling debut album and tour.
They first appeared last summer with minor-key synthpop epic Age of the Train, which they described as “Northern Rail-baiting nerd disco”. A sample of an automated station announcement (about a delay to the 13.21 to Manchester airport) graced the middle-eight, and other songs tackle modern life’s absurdities through similarly witty means. On Repeat is about the monotony of going to work in May’s Britain set to a Giorgio Moroder-style soundtrack. A Kraftwerk-like cover of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wallis, fittingly, called The Re-moaner Mix.
ITOP are Adrian Flanagan and Dean Honer (of Moonlandingz and theEccentronic Research Council), plus singer Leonore Wheatley, whose vocals give the music an iciness redolent of Ladytron. The album was written on analogue synthesisers and dusty drum machines, but the band have a shiny, contemporary vision.