We are delighted to premiere the epic new single from AUK favourite Pete Gow. The orchestral-sounding ‘This City is a Symphony’ is a remarkable song. It’s lush, rich sound is built with gorgeously-combined instrumental layers thanks to producer and multi-instrumentalist collaborator Joe Bennett (Bennett Wilson Poole), who adds horn arrangements to the warm strings and soaring backing vocals. There are changes in pace, pauses and times when the song swells and is elevated to the heavens; there are moments of bliss and a genuinely epic feel to match the ambition of the song. Gow’s tuneful vocal performance is excellent and, as ever, the quality of the former Case Hardin frontman’s writing and songcraft is exceptional. As soon as he sings: “This city is a symphony // Scored by dirty little pictures // Framed by fame,” it’s clear that the song will deliver lyrical power. The result is a powerful, melodic song that sounds fresh and yet feels like you’ve known it forever.
The animated visual presents us with sweeping kaleidoscopic scenes, in which faceless people emerge from abstract shapes and disappear swiftly before we can hold them in our minds. It’s a vivid, colourful, endlessly changing video that genuinely complements and reinforces the song’s theme and purpose. Gow explains: “For this stunning promotional video for ‘This City is a Symphony’, producer Joe Bennett and I collaborated with the AIrtists animation studio to create the immersive and mind-altering visuals that accompany the track. Representing a brand new artform, AIrtists train AI to essentially ‘dream’ about the lyrics of the song.” Indeed, machine learning and dreaming and making art creates unexpected and impressive results.
‘This City is a Symphony’ is from Gow’s third solo album, the brand new and highly-acclaimed ‘Leo’. It’s a powerful album, as rich in characters and narratives as it is sonically ambitious. As with so many things, the album’s release was significantly delayed by the pandemic. Basic tracks had just been laid down by Bennett when the world stopped. Bennett continued to work on the tracks, letting his imagination loose as he worked alone, making such an important contribution that he earned a co-writing credit for ‘This City is a Symphony’. This is stirring music from one of the albums of the year so far. Enjoy.