Tugboat Captain show their knack for thought-provoking to Baroque pop on ‘Like Caroline’

The new single from the London band explores suburban upbringing over ethereal soundscapes, leaving room for a playful jab at Morrissey.

Photo: Rob Humm | Words: Joshua Tubb

A London-based group that started as a one-man band, but soon grew into a sensational four-piece collective, Tugboat Captain, are a consistent delight for audiences on the South East London scene and beyond. With their unique baroque-pop style, they bring together the best of indie pop with classical melodicism to create something truly magical.

Their latest single, ‘Like Caroline’, takes a journey through the suburbs of South-East London. It is a tribute to the band’s upbringing, with nods to contemporary issues of gentrification as well as longer established debates around Catholic institutionalism, interspersed with reflections on more personal struggles. Among the heavy subject matter, there is also a playful touch of humor too, as seen in the swipe at Morrissey’s dubious poetic ability.

“Like Caroline” is a masterpiece of musical fusion. It combines modern and retro sounds in its blend of mellotron flutes, jangling guitars, and pastel-painted synth solos. Speaking of the musical open-mindedness of its performers, we hear a range influences combine to lend the track a curiously compelling quality.

What is perhaps most remarkable about Tugboat Captain is their unshakeably DIY spirit. They produce, engineer, and mix their own songs, and even their artwork is done in-house by bassist Josh Cobb. Beneath its smiling disposition, ‘Like Caroline’ is a breathtaking and thought-provoking track that showcases the band’s maturity and stylistic range.