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Sapienn steps out with Provocateur


It is 2049. My fully automated smart-house wakes me up in the morning, opens the curtains, and the AI starts playing its favourite song, Sapienn’s ‘Provocateur’. I dance in the shower. It’s a good start to the day.

I jest of course, (as if I’ll ever afford a smart-house), but this song is so tightly constructed and produced that there is a funky-robot quality to it, with a little retro flair as well. It marks a change for Sapienn a.k.a Scott Simpson, who’s gone from Glasgow metal guitarist to stripped back songwriter to now, approaching a rockier sound. After a break from writing to reset and perform a few gigs, he comes back with ‘Provocateur’.

‘Provocateur’ is a feel-good, screw-them-all tune about not being able to take the weight of other’s expectations anymore, and proudly being yourself no matter what.

The melodies are confident, and that initial ‘ahh’ vocal hook will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Again I must praise the tight production, with tripping funk guitar, driving bass, and lush harmonies. I’m a sucker for a vintage synth solo in a middle-8. Simpson’s vocals have a smooth tone, though perhaps could use some more confidence. At 6 minutes this is a hefty track, perhaps too long for radio, but no doubt perfect to jam out at a live gig. Overall this is a hugely enjoyable track, and it’s fascinating to see an artist come from so many genres – what will Sapienn do next?

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Words Eden Tredwell