THIS weekend marks the return of Scotland’s biggest music festival as TRNSMT prepares to open its gates for a third time at Glasgow Green. In amongst all the excitement, there has been yet another influx of new material from a range of artists like Anna Meredith, The Vignettes, VanIves, Brittany Howard, Dry Cleaning, The Murder Capital and Sam Fender. Check out our top picks of the week below.
Anna Meredith ‘Paramour’
Award-winning composer and producer Anna Meredith has shared a brand new track called ‘Paramour’ and has confirmed details of her second studio album ‘FIBS’.
The new album has previewed by the extraordinary ‘Paramour’; a scintillating instrumental track that is every bit as innovative as we’ve come to expect from the composer. Coming in at an impressive five minutes in length, the track quite literally sweeps and darts around an amalgamation of sounds, driven by wholly unique and pulsating rhythm section that hits an incredible 176BPM before rounding off with an unexpected tuba-led blow-out.
The Murder Capital ‘Don’t Cling to Life’
Dublin’s The Murder Capital have made an exhilarating return with the release of ‘Don’t Cling to Life’. One of their shortest and snappiest cuts to date, the track feels urgent and heartfelt. Matching the consistent intensity that has ran through all of their tracks so far, reverb-drenched guitars and a pulsating rhythm section drive the track onwards but there’s a poetic poignancy to James McGovern’s raspy vocals and a haunting beauty that is palpable throughout as they once again explore the dichotomy between light and dark and life and death.
VanIves ‘The Waves and I Would Wander’
A band who never fail to surprise in the ways they continue to push the boundaries of their sumptuous and exploratory sound, VanIves’ wholly unique approach to production and composition has stood them apart from many of their contemporaries with each stunning release. The immensely talented duo unveiled the title track of their second EP ‘The Waves and I Would Wander’ last week and it’s every bit as innovative as we’ve come to expect. Stuart Ramage’s incredible vocals once again sit front and centre atop layers of acoustic guitars, moving piano melodies and crisp beats. Adding in sounds and elements from the wider landscape such as the subtle chirp of birds, it’s a widescreen offering that transports you to another faraway place yet still manages to pack that all important emotional punch.
The Vignettes ‘If I Had a Gun’
With one foot in the visceral world of punk whilst the other wades through the performative flair of new wave at its most rewardingly extravagant, ‘If I Had A Gun’ incorporates all of the redeemable qualities that they’ve displayed thus far and solders them down into one sleek number that’ll leave the brain in a whirl. Helmed by none other than Catholic Action’s Chris McCrory, The Vignettes have put the renowned polymath’s production acumen to good use and allows the energy of their captivating live performances to be accounted for and then some in the studio environment. Sprinkled with hints of pertinent social commentary and riveting guitar interplay, The Vignettes have picked us as if they never left on ‘If I Had A Gun’ and staked an emphatic claim as to why they’re one of the most exciting prospects in Glasgow’s flourishing music scene
Sam Fender ‘Will We Talk?’
Ahead of his performance on the Main Stage at TRNSMT this weekend, BRITS Critics Choice Award Winner Sam Fender has unveiled the final single from his debut album this week.
‘Will We Talk?’ is a high-octane, driving slice of Springsteen-esque rock that showcases all of his arena-sized ambitions in truly anthemic fashion. Shedding the larger themes that have ran through most of his previous singles for a track that focuses on modern relationships and disposable relationships, it’s a storming, euphoric number that has certainly increased all the hype around his full-length debut.
Brittany Howard ‘History Repeats’
Brittany Howard, lead singer of Alabama Shakes, has announced plans for a debut album called Jaime which will come out in September. It has been four years since Alabama Shakes’ last album, 2015’s Sound & Color, but this week she unveiled her solo effort’s lead single ‘History Repeats’. It’s as warped as it is funky and familiar; imbued with a vintage sensibility that lends it a warmth while her voice is as distinctive as ever. It’s a decidedly political tune aswell though; one that finds her ruminating over the circular nature of life in a way that feels particularly potent in these tumultuous and worrying times.
Dry Cleaning ‘Magic of Meghan’
A band who have gathered immense word of mouth hype in recent months with their initial shows, London’s Dry Cleaning have carefully crafted a wiry, vibrant post-punk and new-wave indebted sound that pairs itself with surreal vocal narratives, often delivered in spoken word. ‘Magic of Meghan’ is the perfect introduction for those yet to become acquainted with its taut, punkish guitar lines and detached, Grace Jones-like delivery. It’s skitterish yet excitable yet anchored by its resolutely pop songwriting.
As its title suggest, it is a song about Meghan, Duchess of Sussex which cleverly dissects the misogyny and barely disguised racism of the British establishment, full of clever, witty wordplay.