UK band Tourists may well look back on 2016 as their breakthrough year, achieving acclaim from influential tastemakers (like us!), radio airplay and stage-space to showcase their music. So the pressure is on to maintain the momentum in 2017.

Less than a month into the New Year, Tourists are claiming 2017’s dream-pop zone with “Masquerade”, a six-and-a-half minute, atmospheric epic that we are delighted to premiere here.

Blending Jamie Giles’s esoteric vocal with surprisingly gritty guitar and a psychedelic helping of synths, “Masquerade” is supported by the energetic back-beat that made Tourists’ earlier single, “Cut and Run”, a play-on-repeat success. But this is much more than a reprise of the band’s back-catalogue. There’s a sophistication to the arrangement and production, revealing a growing maturity in their songwriting and musicianship. The partnership with producer James Bragg (Gengahr/Saltwater Sun/Grace Lightman) has clearly paid off with a step-change in creative force. This is a band finding their voice and the courage to use it.

Already booked for a string of festivals and gigs across England’s South-West, with the occasional venture into London, there’s plenty of opportunity to catch Tourists live through 2017. And with a radio edit available, we’d predict more of “Masquerade” on the airwaves, too. A band to watch in 2017? You better believe it and then some.

Tourists are Jamie Giles, Scott Morton, Matthew White, Lloyd Bastow, and Tom Wilkinson. “Masquerade” is released on 27 January 2017

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