Divides – Anywhere & Nowhere EP

divides-anywhere-and-nowhere-ep-coverAnywhere & Nowhere is the self-funded debut EP from Glasgow’s Divides.

Forming in late 2013 and playing their first show in April last year, it has taken less than 12 months from that show to releasing the four tracks which feature here.

Echoing guitar chords and vocalist Tasha Cowie gently ease us in with the vibe on the down low for opening (and title) track ‘Anywhere & Nowhere’. Just as comfort is about to bed in the song changes gear and takes us on a whirlwind three-minute tour of everything this band is about. The excellent production gives a solid deep rounded drums and bass foundation upon which the guitar flourishes and soon-to-become trademark style are sat atop. With a chorus which sticks in your head long after you’ve heard it, there is nothing to complain about here.

It is however when ‘Landslide’ starts that things take a real lift. The opening guitar and drum refrain grab your attention long before Tasha’s accented Scottish vocal begs you pay attention. The big chorus is bursting with melody and the interlude at just over the two-minute mark is a highlight which you can’t help but turn up just that little bit louder. This is easily the strongest song on the EP.

As with most Divides songs, the lyrics are written by Tasha and are honest, soul-baring and brave. The delivery of the line “No I haven’t touched you, but my print’s been there a while. And I can’t wipe away the tears that you can never cry. Why won’t you cry FOR ME!?” leaves you almost feeling ashamed for listening in on a personal moment.  If the level of emotion, lyrical content and vocal delivery continues in this way then Divides just may have themselves a secret weapon in Tasha.

Previous single ‘Spiders’ is up next and this is a full-on rocker which once again makes you nudge that volume skyward. On the lyrics front venomous is an understatement. I would hate to be the person on the receiving end of the spitting diatribe which is the subject of the song’s content! The layered echo of guitar and fill-laden drum supporting the bridge is the moment of perfection in this track.

Lastly we have most recent single ‘Falsehood’ which is my least favourite track featured here. Overall the song feels weaker than the previous three.  Although the somewhat slower pace is welcomed, and the intro guitar work from David Lennon and again the traded licks with Colin Horn later in the song are superb there is just something which pushes me away. At first I thought it may be the mix burying the vocal and melody in favour of the guitar but it might simply be personal preference.

For a band who have been together for such a short time, the maturity and confidence is surprising, in places making more established bands sound lesser. However to make a comparison to established bands, especially those who are female-fronted would be just lazy. The solid rhythm foundations, guitar work between David and Colin, coupled with Tasha’s lyrical and vocal content is what sets Divides apart.

The standard is extremely high on this debut release and even with some songs working better than others you’d be hard pushed to find a better statement of intent from an upcoming band.

Anywhere & Nowhere is released on the 16th of March. 

Gareth Fraser
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