Sheffield-based In The Nursery have today issued a new single entitled ‘Émigré (The Dressmaker)’. It is the second track to be teased from ‘HUMBERSTONE’, which is the surname of core group duo Klive and Nigel (who are also identical twins). Out on 22nd April, it is their first studio album since 2017.
The opening track on the record, ‘Émigré (The Dressmaker)’ has an orchestral post-punk vibe that is full of high drama as it depicts a real-life tragedy that involved ancestors of the Humberstone family. On the night of 17th November 1874, just over 200 miles off the coast of what is now South Africa, a fire broke out aboard the Cospatrick, a ship that had set sail from Gravesend bound for Auckland, New Zealand. Within two hours the ship was a fiery hulk; except for forty survivors in two lifeboats, everyone on board was burnt alive or drowned trying to escape.
The twins explain that “429 emigrants were killed, including Humberstone relatives Charlotte Welch, who was a Dressmaker (also Matron for the Single women onboard), her two youngest sons and her daughter-in-law. Of the survivors, only three eventually made it off the lifeboats, saved but haunted by an enforced descent into cannibalism and sea salt madness. It is impossible to imagine the horror of waking to a ship ablaze and the blind panic of trying to scramble aboard one of the ill-equipped lifeboats. We have attempted to chronicle that tragedy with this track.”