They may already be cited as the best new band in Scotland, but the rapid ascent of Holy Esque is showing no sign of stalling. Marked as ones to watch at the beginning of the year, May's debut self-titled EP cranked things up a notch for the Glaswegians, firmly establishing them among indie rock's most exciting prospects. Predictably, levels of hype and expectation have multiplied tenfold, but that hasn't stopped them from conceiving a second release in double quick time. Available as a free digital single, "Tear" represents another commendable progression, maintaining their commitment to diversity and shifting their music into noticeably darker territory. Driven by a wealth of cascading guitars and bleak atmospherics, it's without doubt their most stirring composition yet, with Pat Hynes' divisive husky vocals reaching new levels of emotional resonance. It may not be as immediate as "Ladybird Love" or "Rose," but repeated listening reveals it to be another gem in their small yet concentrated catalogue. Perhaps what's most significant is the fact that it's their biggest moment to date, a move which suggests a willingness to embrace the considerable burdens bestowed upon them. Thoroughly excellent.
"Tear" is available as a free download from Holy Esque's Soundcloud page.