Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.
I’m still not convinced there’s demand for a revival of 1990s indie-chav culture, but the artists trying to revive it keep coming nonetheless. This week it’s new Parlophone signing Rat Boy, aka Jordan Cardy. The 19-year-old singer from Cheltenham has a similar cheeky charisma to Only Real, who I featured in March, while his inspirations can be assumed to include Blur and Jamie T. To an older audience, song titles like Sign On and Sportswear suggest Rat Boy is a pastiche or a character act. However, unless there’s a secret svengali behind this project, then I don’t believe it’s that calculated. Like most teenagers, I doubt he knows where the joke ends and his real personality begins. Jordan is reclaiming and celebrating symbols of British working class culture, such as the Burberry check pattern, that were mocked into obscurity in the 2000s. The Rat Boy pseudonym provides the distance, the suggestion of insincerity, that lets him get away with it, and has allowed the NME and Radio 1 to lend their support. I’d like to think that part, at least, is intentional.