VISITORS could easily have been lost in the ferment of Edinburgh’s post-punk scene. The promising four-piece were around from 1979 to ’81 and released just a handful of singles—two of them recorded with John Peel—before disbanding, ending plans for a debut full-length with 4AD. The few sounds of theirs that reached the public had a remarkable depth to them, bringing angular and sparse pockets of sound up against instantly catchy guitar hooks and half-shouted vocals that border on dark wave. Fortunately, Toronto label Telephone Explosion intends to revive the band with the release of the Poet’s End LP, a retrospective that will include, in addition to the original singles, four previously unreleased tracks.
One of those four unheard tracks, “Our Glass” sheds light on VISITORS’ bent towards dance-pop. It sees them straying from the harsh guitar tones of their 1979 single “Electric Heat” and instead opting for a glossier sound, mingling a grooving bassline with big, echoing drums. Here, they keep to a stunning minimalist approach that evokes A Bell Is a Cup-era Wire to great effect. The doubled vocals come in with a jolt, and there’s some ideological question lurking behind them: while disjointed and ambiguous, the lyrics seem to point toward a deep feeling of alienation paired with the limitations of expression. Against the moody percussive backdrop, the refrain of “All sad within / within our truth” feels at once totally right and deeply unsettling.
Poet’s End will be out May 8th on Telephone Explosion. You can stream “Our Glass” below.