A youthful male with a mullet performs on the guitar under the spotlight and sings of electrifying kisses and sharp smiles. His innate charm has the power to redeem a questionable hairstyle.
Jacob Slater, lead singer of Wunderhorse – a highly talked about band in the UK indie scene – was previously a member of the rowdy teenage group Dead Pretties, which disbanded in 2017. Despite his young age, his music is filled with a sense of longing for the past. In interviews, he has shared that he gave up drugs after leaving his old band. Perhaps as a result, his lyrics have a reflective quality as he looks back at his own life and the lives of his peers with newfound clarity. The underlying theme throughout is empathy, whether it’s for the struggles of the girl in Purple or the overwhelming sexual experience depicted in Butterflies.
Slater’s talent for creating catchy sing-along hooks resonates with a youthful audience, not much older than the subjects in his songs. As he sings “And we were together when we were 15 / But nothing is real then, you know what I mean?” during his performance of Teal, the young crowd in Glasgow is swept up in the feeling of teenage invincibility. They understand.
The first album, Cub, was released just over a year ago, but a significant portion of the songs performed were from their upcoming second album. This shows their self-assuredness as artists. The song “Midas” has a fierce, flowing sound reminiscent of Bob Dylan, while “Arizona” is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at summer festivals with its catchy chorus. The band ends their main set with “Superman,” an epic ballad that evokes early Radiohead.
Can Wunderhorse replicate the success of that band and become true stars? It seems they have already outgrown Cub, despite still having a dedicated fanbase. Their encores, such as an extended, space-inspired version of Poppy, demonstrate the talents of bassist Pete Woodin and drummer Jamie Staples.
Slater exits the stage with a final roar, despite having previously expressed concerns about losing his voice. However, it seems that he has regained his vocal strength.