EP Review: The Van T’s – A Coming Of Age

The Van T’s

Words: Gary Feeney

the van ts a coming of ageI first heard the Van T’s in passing round about a year ago, probably around the time of the release of their debut E.P, Laguna Babe, and made a mental note to have a proper listen to them as I quite like that brief aural glimpse. As often happens with these things however, I never did get round to it, despite catching the end of their support slot with fellow female Glaswegian outfit Honeyblood towards the end of last year, it was ten minutes or so which reinforced my initial opinion of the band as one to look out for.

Thankfully, then, they’ve returned with a new E.P, A Coming Of Age, which has finally remedied my lack of familiarity with the 4-piece and has also left me lamenting leaving it so long to give them the attention they so clearly deserve.

One of the first things that struck me with A Coming Of Age was the musical complexity of the Van T’s, particularly the web of intricate and intelligent guitar lines that weaves its way across the entire release, underpinning a sound which brings together an array of styles which you wouldn’t normally expect to blend together: amongst others, there’s elements of grunge, 60’s pop, shoegaze and punk, all wrapped up in 4 excellent songs.

Up first is 35mm, a fairly heavy affair which is probably the perfect package of the aforementioned musical stylings, with the shared vocals of twin sisters Hannah and Chloe Van Thompson – the sisters formed a duo back in 2013 (hence the name) before recruiting their rhythm section – adding a dream-like quality to the track, something which is (naturally) a recurring and entrancing feature of their sound. The guitar parts are particularly impressive on 35m, with a quite sumptuous tone and solo.

Lead single, Blood Orange, is, by contrast, a more laid back affair which calls to mind their aforementioned city friends Honeyblood; there’s that same warm sound which manages to be both uplifting and relaxed, although the main similarities are in the Van Thompson’s vocals and that of Honeyblood’s Stina Tweeddale. Coming from the same city though, that’s probably to be expected!

If I was pressed to pick a favourite from the E.P, I’d probably go for No Man’s Money, which is perhaps the most poppy of the bunch, although it’s hard to pick between the 4 on offer – whilst the Van T’s have crafted their own distinguishing sound, each track has its own take on it and has something different to offer. Full of melodies, impressive instrumentation and ultimately great songs, A Coming Of Age is an extremely impressive release and will surely have fans old and new hooked from the first listen.

Watch the video for Blood Orange here:

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