Glasgow based quartet the Exhales released their debut single ‘Silver Smile‘ in early 2022. They have quickly positioned themselves as one of the most interesting up and coming Scottish bands. A quick flick through their Instagram feed will show you that they headlined at iconic venue King Tut’s as part of the Summer Nights line-up, and many others in Glasgow to boot. On December 2nd, they released their sophomore offering ‘Call on Karma‘, and the second I heard it I knew it had snuck in there to grab a spot on my favourite songs of the year list.
While this track starts off with a similar, mellow indie-rock vibe to its predecessor, it slowly builds to become heavier and more rocky as it progresses, and shows a completely different side to this band. This is particularly true as we move from the first verse to the rousing chorus, and then it just increases even more as the track continues.
A particularly standout moment comes in the second verse when singer Jack Hayes laments that “this fu**ing town is getting old” – it really sums up the feeling of hopelessness that this song conveys despite the upbeat sound and showcases his gravelly and often rather haunting voice . Another particularly impressive display comes in the instrumental section- which highlights the amazing guitar riff that is present throughout the track, also adding in some new melodies. Plus it gives drummer Robert Young his moment in the sun as well.
Based on the two tracks they’ve already released, the Exhales are most certainly a band to keep an eye on as we head into a new year. Personally, I’m hoping for more new music, because their two tracks to date have been on repeat since I discovered them, even though saying that makes me sound a little like a Dickensian orphan!