Post-Punk Band Do Nothing Share “Moving Target”

UK post-punk band Do Nothing have shared “Moving Target”, a new track with an accompanying music video taken from their hotly-anticipated debut album Snake Sideways due out on June 30th LISTEN HERE / WATCH BELOW / PRE-SAVE LP HERE

To coincide with the Snake Sideways announcement, Do Nothing are also paying homage to legendary mobile game Snake, with their version featuring a specially commissioned 8-Bit audio version of recent single “Amoeba.” Play the game and start climbing the leaderboard HERE

Commenting on “Moving Target” and its accompanying video shot on a handheld camera, vocalist Chris Bailey says: “I’d say that this one distills some of the album’s more gloomy themes into a nice little song about being tired and run down. It’s also sort of about feeling small in a big world, and wondering how you could possibly relate to it. For the video, I thought it’d be fun to strap a GoPro to myself for a month and see whether the footage could be made into something. I felt weird walking around with it, but I actually quite like watching it back now as a little time capsule thing. During the editing I definitely noticed that smiley positive moments actually made for the best footage, which made me feel nice and uncynical.” 

Do Nothing returned to form in spectacular fashion this year, with their single “Happy Feet” – the band’s first new music since acclaimed 2021 EP Glueland – arriving in February to widespread praise at UK national press from The Independent, NME, So Young Magazine, Dork, DIY, CLASH, Yuck, and more. “Happy Feet” was also added straight to the BBC Radio 6 Music B-List – their sixth consecutive single to be added no less. Recent single “Amoeba” premiered with Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 6 Music alongside the band’s Dork playlist digital cover story

Having known each other since childhood, Do Nothing started making music as teenagers living in Nottingham, eventually taking a year off to regroup and reset with a more honed style. A pair of EPs, 2020’s Zero Dollar Bill and the following year’s Glueland, established Do Nothing among an exciting crop of new British bands huddled loosely under the post-punk banner.

Chris Bailey had big ambitions for the first Do Nothing album, though, and even in early interviews was stressing the importance of always evolving. This desire to change, twinned with the time-freezing pandemic that impacted early stages of writing, raised more questions than it elicited answers for the singer and chief songwriter. The resulting feeling was that of a creative stutter; a disconnection between intention and end product. 

Like any good writer, Bailey found a way through the weeds and began putting it all down on paper. Snake Sideways isn’t merely an album about being unable to write an album, though. Across its ten tracks it interrogates feelings of tying identity to a vocation, the sense of letting others down, precarity of dreams, and the inescapable prison of self-criticism. These themes are perhaps most evident on “Happy Feet”, a devilishly pretty moment built around guitarist Kasper Sandstrom’s delicately strummed acoustic and more jagged electric switches. Bailey describes his lyrics on the song as being “super unglamorous” and there is something stark about hearing him admit, “I’m not gonna dress it up, today didn’t go so well.” In the past he might have hidden behind metaphor or a deep-cut Simpsons reference but the album steers unashamedly towards naked honesty. 

The bigger picture to this cards-on-the-table thinking is that Snake Sideways is shot through with a message of hope and acceptance. There’s no cheap self-help sloganeering but a greater sense that perseverance and a little kindness can go a long way. It’s right there in that “All hail my dog” line, taken from “Hollywood Learn”. The idea of a canine deity might be amusing to think about but to Do Nothing it represents something more profound – celebrating the everyday realities and not judging yourself based on dream scenarios. 

Snake Sideways stays grounded throughout and avoids straying into myopic territory, with songs including “Fine” and “Sunshine State” touching on themes of gambling and America’s response to the AIDS crisis respectively. The latter, one of the first songs Do Nothing wrote when they started the band in its current form, references the artist Keith Haring in its depiction of an anger that leaves you shaking. 

The elephant in the room is that all this fear, self-loathing, and inability to create, plays out on an album that very much exists. Every second of Snake Sideways is, therefore, a celebration of triumph over this paradox. It’s also a mark of the friendship in the band, rounded out by bassist Charlie Howarth and drummer Andy Harrison, and their decades-long bond. Nothing in life ever turns out quite how we imagine it and Do Nothing capture that journey in its totality here. It’s a bumpy ride but one that finds a band finally at peace with their own imperfections. 

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