Scottish pop-rock titans Texas have unveiled their latest track Mr Haze, the second single release from their upcoming tenth studio LP Hi. The new song – which skilfully utilises a sample from disco icon Donna Summer’s 1977 hit Love’s Unkind – is turbo-powered by a melodic, arena-ready chorus. It feels like a statement of intent from the Glaswegian sextet in their 35th year in the business, and a confident return to the kind of anthemic guitar-pop territory they chartered so successfully on 1997’s White On Blonde.
Mr Haze follows in the footsteps of the album’s catchy lead single and title track Hi, a stripped-back number accompanied by an atmospheric spaghetti-western riff. The group’s multi-talented frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri told The List that the big-screen feel of that song – and its allusions to Ennio Morricone’s legendary scores for a plethora of classic Sergio Leone films – were wholly deliberate. She said “All our albums have cinematic songs. Morricone in particular is still a huge influence. We’re referencing our past but also writing from the position we’re in now. Being able to stand back from what you’ve achieved gives you a different perspective. Our aim has only ever been to make great music.”
A previous incarnation of Hi – featuring the group’s unlikely long-term collaborative partners Wu-Tang Clan – had been drip-fed to fans in December. Both versions of the song are set to feature on the deluxe version of the new LP of the same name, which hits the shelves on May 28th. The record will also include a duet with Altered Images singer Clare Grogan (Look What You’ve Done) and a track co-written with dulcet-toned Yorkshire troubadour Richard Hawley (Dark Fire).
Hi (the album) is Texas’ first LP since 2017’s Jump On Board, a chart-topper in their native Scotland which reached number #6 on the Official UK Albums Chart. Reviews for that record were broadly positive, with Albumism hailing “a sound cultivated over 27 years that has finally reached the full peak of its flavour“.
Texas are still waiting to take their debut record, 1989’s Southside, out on the road for a belated 30th birthday encore. The British and Irish anniversary tour for the record – which spawned the group’s first hit single in country-rock corker I Don’t Want A Lover – had been scheduled to take place in May and June this year, but has now been pushed back to February and March 2022 on public health grounds. The band unveiled the new dates for the 28-gig tour earlier this month.
As you’ve probably been expecting we have to reschedule our Southside UK & Ireland dates. We really appreciate your patience & know this will come as a disappointment but the safety of our fans & crew is the most important thing for us. We can’t wait to get on the road & see you. pic.twitter.com/caa7uN5kz0
— Texas (@texastheband) March 4, 2021
The track listing for the deluxe edition of Hi, which is released via BMG on May 28th, is as follows:
Hi (with Wu-Tang Clan)
Just Want To Be Liked
Look What You’ve Done (with Clare Grogan)
You Can Call Me
Sound of My Voice
Hi (Single Mix)
Had A Hard Day
Had to Leave