When the British art-rock band These New Puritans (also known as TNPs) released their third album last June, it was a declaration of sorts; a clear-eyed move away from the group's previous two albums, toward a strikingly neoclassical sound. Called Field of Reeds, the nine tracks make up an inward, sometimes somber album, combining spare string, horn and wind arrangements with drums, soaring (and occasionally very low-pitched) vocals and a rather unusual instrument called a "magnetic resonator piano."
Recently, the group brought that instrument -- an acoustic piano augmented with electromagnets and motion sensors -- to the public in an interactive exhibit at a London gallery. Along with the installation, the group released a limited edition EP called Magnetic Field, which used selections from Field of Reeds alongside outtakes from the recording sessions and unused field recordings.
We talk with the band members -- twin brothers Jack and George Barnett and Thomas Hein -- and we hear a live performance from the group in the Soundcheck studio.