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Florence Shaw of the group Dry Cleaning is a very different kind of rock star

Dry Cleaning. Front, center: Florence Shaw. Rear, from left: Guitarist Tom Dowse, bassist Lewis Maynard and drummer Nick Buxton.
Courtesy of the artist
Dry Cleaning. Front, center: Florence Shaw. Rear, from left: Guitarist Tom Dowse, bassist Lewis Maynard and drummer Nick Buxton.

What is a nascent band to do, when the person decided on to be the singer doesn't seem interested in singing – or even, really, being at the front of the stage? For the British band Dry Cleaning, whose second studio album Stumpwork was recently released, timing and persistence were key.

"I was experiencing a bit of turmoil, just in my personal life generally at the time, and I think that was really the thing that pushed me to try it," says vocalist Florence Shaw, whose droll poetics and magnetic voice are cornerstones for the band. Once convinced, she found herself sucked in. "I think it's nice to be listened to," she tells Morning Edition's Rachel Martin with a laugh. "I thought like 'Wow, you can just say anything into this thing' ... there's something powerful about that."

Shaw spoke to NPR about Stumpwork, going behind the scenes of her kaleidoscopic lyrical approach, dealing with criticism and, at last, what it was like to sing a melody here and there.

To hear this conversation, use the audio player at the top of this page.

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