Glasgow five-piece VLURE have been the hottest band on our radar since they released a live video of Desire way back in 2019 when the world was a very different place. Two and a bit years on, they release their debut EP Euphoria as a soundtrack to survival, of understanding exactly what and who matters and the importance of love and friendship to our existence and happiness.
The five songs on the Euphoria EP will be familiar to those who've been fortunate to witness VLURE's electric live shows over the past few months. All five, plus their early single Shattered Faith and Desire and their cover of Faithless' God Is A DJ have created a thirty-five minutes of escape from the fucked up world that we've lived in through 2020 and 2021. VLURE are the voice of understanding the insecurity, emotional turmoil and inner monologues that play havoc with our individual and collective mental health and offer the communal solution of coming together to expel those demons through friendship, hedonism and music.
Show Me How To Live Again was the first song to be revealed of the five, a song of hope and looking forward, brimming with the optimism that friends and spending moments together doing things that you love will save you from the darkest moments. It's in your face from the off, merging post-punk with wild eighties-influenced synth sounds to create something intoxicating, all the more powerful for Hamish refusing to downplay his accent. It simultaneously kicks up you up the arse and puts an arm round your shoulder and gets you moving involuntarily, whether you're sat listening in an armchair at home or in a hot sweaty room full of like-minded souls.
Heartbeat is set to a booming drum and bass backbeat and with Hamish's vocals front and centre, as he demands with increasing frenzy "Give me a release!" VLURE really don't sound like anyone else, their influences spread so far and wide yet fused together into something that sounds unique, uplifting and ultimately empowering. Heartbeat is about letting go of your inhibitions, escaping everything that weighs you down and losing yourself in the wildest night out of your life. Like the very best and the most important music out there, you can immerse yourself completely in it for a moment and block the dark stuff out, feel like someone understands exactly how you feel and is offering you a way out.
The Storm is where the EP takes a more downbeat and reflective twist. It demonstrates that VLURE are just as masterful and expressive with the foot taken off the gas as they are with the accelerator thrust to the floor. Musically claustrophobic, drama pulsing from every beat, tension rising and intensifying the confusion, it feels like the equivalent of the world closing in around you. The trio of questions - "What's life but a storm? Where's the sense? What's the norm?" - repeated at the end as the music swirls round them with every increasing intensity until it drops away and we're left with Hamish's heavy breathing feel like the key to controlling your feelings and your destiny, but the answers aren't quite so simple as you'd like them to be.