NME Festival blog: Jarvis Cocker describes Brexit as “an ongoing mental health crisis”


The Pulp frontman said Brexit was responsible for division and an “identity crisis” in the UK

Jarvis Cocker has opened up about Brexit in a new interview, describing it as “an ongoing mental health crisis for the whole country.”

Cocker, who has spoken out against Brexit previously, discussed the divisions Brexit has caused in the UK as well as issues relating to British identity.

Speaking to The Observer, the Pulp frontman said: “I think Brexit has been an ongoing mental health crisis for the whole country. With it being a split vote, you’re kind of pitching half the country against the other. In the past people always accepted the fact that while you might not agree with everybody, it’s more important to just get on with them.

“But now it’s everybody screaming at each other: ‘Ooh I’m not talking to her!’ It’s very pertinent in my life, because my mother voted for Brexit, so what am I gonna do, am I gonna disown her?” He adopts a petulant theatrical voice: “You Are Not My Mother Any More!”

Cocker also went on to say that the UK’s obsession with ‘losing its identity’ isn’t something he sees elsewhere in Europe. “The French aren’t any less French for being in Europe; the Germans aren’t any less German and they have the Euro.”

Earlier this week, Cocker released a new single, ‘Must I Evolve?’, the first track from his new band Jarv Is.

The new project sees Cocker teaming up with bandmates Serafina Steer, Emma Smith, Andrew McKinney, Jason Buckle and Adam Betts – who were all a part of the series of shows he played in unexpected locations last year.

It immediately opens with Jarvis posing the eponymous question, before a haunting choir provide a series of rather affirmative “no’s”.

After the mysterious start, the track then heads in an increasingly experimental direction, with a pounding drum beat being played underneath a succession of other questions that are posed by the Britpop icon.“Must I grow old? Must I join in,” Jarvis asks at one point.

While the track is currently streaming online, its physical release has been limited to sales at forthcoming Jarvis shows – including dates at London’s All Points East Festival later this month and Primavera shortly after that.



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