Single Review: Chris Greig & The Merchants – Seen It All Before

by Kieran Cannon

Hot off the heels of their highly successful February release SHY, Chris Greig & The Merchants are back – and they’ve done it again. Their latest single Seen It All Before is an infectiously catchy number, packed full of raw energy with hints of frustration bubbling under the surface.
Listen to the full track here
Over the past couple of years the Glasgow four-piece have gone from strength to strength, with numerous achievements under their belts including a sold-out headline show at the coveted King Tut’s venue and a slot at Kendall Calling festival. Although their emphatic start to the year was halted somewhat by coronavirus, they’ve remained undeterred and have promised to keep us entertained throughout lockdown.
On Seen It All Before, this promise comes to fruition as the lads deliver what can only be described as an instant earworm. The track opens with atmospheric synths and a tantalising guitar hook before exploding into action with wave after wave of punchy drumming, jangly guitars and gloriously addictive vocal harmonies. Like many great pop songs, however, its upbeat exterior hides a more solemn subject matter.
[photo credit – Blair Burnett]
Written from the perspective of frontman Chris Greig, it details his personal experience of trying to help a loved one – only for them to spurn his advice. His frustration is palpable as he sings, “But I wish I knew how / to understand your head, though I can’t read your mind”, although this comes from a place of love. It’s obvious he still holds out hope and isn’t quite ready to give up on the person in question. Many will no doubt relate during these strange times as stubborn friends and family members grow tired of lockdown restrictions, making badly informed decisions in the process.
Cultivating your ‘own sound’ is often considered the holy grail of pop music and throughout their years of recording, Chris Greig & The Merchants have managed to do just that. The influences are still there – The 1975, Frightened Rabbit – but their music is even greater than the sum of its parts. The word ‘anthemic’ gets thrown around a lot but this track is a bona fide indie anthem. It’s a truly fantastic song and if there’s more where that came from, perhaps lockdown won’t be so bad after all.


FACEBOOK: @CGMerchants

TWITTER: @CGMerchants

INSTAGRAM: @cgmerchants

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