Since originally forming in 2001, the XCERTS have gone on to release four studio albums with the most recent, Hold On To Your Heart, being released this past Friday.
Hold On To Your Heart is a record like no other that the band has done before. The album mixes a sing-along pop song vibe with some thoroughbred rock brought in to send the record into the stratosphere.
The album opens as it means to continue with ‘The Dark’ setting the scene for the rest of the record exceptionally well. Establishing the meaning of the album early and with some considerable effort. ‘The Dark’ is a piano ballad that comes out swinging it’s message around, acknowledging that there is always a better time and that there is light in ‘The Dark’ world that we live in.
That’s the message put across from the entire album, even Murray Macleod going on record to say “Hold On To Your Heart is about finding a pinhole of light in the dark and turning it into the sun. We really did shoot for the stars with this one.” and boy did they reach the stars. Knocking truly out of the park with a record that only gets stronger as you work through songs like ‘First Kiss Feeling’ and the title track ‘Hold On To Your Heart’, which both try to put across an upbeat mantra with the lyrics anchoring them being more thought-provoking than you realise upon a first listen to the record.
‘Show Me Beautiful’ comes later in the album and, in-fitting with it’s title, is utterly beautiful, as well as being the penultimate track on the record, only being followed by the crescendo that is ‘Cry’. The final song on the album that really shows that The Xcerts have come far since their introspective beginnings back in Aberdeen in 2001.
The album’s positive message must be influenced by the incredible response to the band’s third album that released in 2014, There Is Only You, with lead singer, Macleod having to overcome his own demons in order to put together this new record, but it has definitely turned out for the better as the fourth studio album from the Xcerts really does hit every single note from start to finish with emphasis and a subtle passion. The trio are really going from strength to strength with this new album, bouncing off of the successes that they’ve had previously to create something unique but familiar.
The Xcerts are off on a UK Tour over the next few months to give the gift of Hold On To You Heart being performed live. You can also catch their new record here.