SOFT PLAY – Punk’s Dead
Kent duo SOFT PLAY, previously known as Slaves, changed their name in late 2022 after acknowledging the historical baggage associated with it. The Mercury Prize-nominated duo have returned with Punk’s Dead, a three-minute slice of riotous guitar rock that reflects on the name change: “We put that post up about our name change and the one thing we hadn’t prepared ourselves for was the idea of pissing off people that thought we shouldn’t change the name,” Laurie Vincent told Rolling Stone UK. Release only comes at the song’s bridge, which contains a surprising guest appearance from ex-Take That member Robbie Williams. The punk-inspired guitars subside in favour of soft, warped acoustic strums, as Williams declares, “I love you but I disagree”. He dubs SOFT PLAY “snowflakes”, though he adds, “But I’ll still see you at your show”.