VOICEsVOICEs Origins Review

EP. Released 2010.  

BBC Review

Music of a textural depth that’s difficult to have too much of.

Mike Diver 2010

Combining lusciously ethereal vocals in the vein of School of Seven Bells’ sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza with the empyrean elegance of prime Prefuse 73 – he, Guillermo Scott Herren, produces here – VOICEsVOICEs are a new-to-the-UK duo with the potential to capture a considerable following. This EP offers only four tracks – Transition is merely a bridge between sides, if you will – but each resonates with substantial promise.

As tasters go, it’s exciting fare: the appetite for more isn’t so much whetted as left in a state of delightful fervent. Opener Flulyk Visions sets an enveloping tone that’s maintained, variations subtle and coherency attained through clear expressions of a creative partnership that seems sure to bear further fulfilling fruits. Nico Turner and Jenean Farris, the LA natives in question, may presently wear their influences fairly proudly – the aforementioned, plus rather better-known names: echoes of Portishead, Fever Ray, Efterklang and Cocteau Twins float amongst constituent pieces of fresh design – yet haven’t produced a tribute to their record collections. Rather, they’ve laid foundations to focus on and expand from, and will certainly exhibit a singular identity before long.

The pluralising of the pair’s moniker – voices, rather than voice (and) voice – is apt, as each member finds their vocals dissected, splintered, rearranged and reformatted so that syllables become vital elements of the instrumental composition. It is as if there are more than two people in the room. Lyrical comprehension is sacrificed to an extent for a greater emphasis on atmosphere, and as strange noises whirr and cymbals are crashed into delayed ecstasy, the focus on the whole, rather than ephemeral minutiae, proves wise. 

Although there are aspects to Origins which do feel generic, the band aren’t alone in taking a few steps backwards in order to break through new barriers. The transcendental shimmer of the title track will feel familiar to those with experience of such effortlessly absorbing material – there are also suggestive winks the way of the fuzzy embraces of Washed Out and Toro Y Moi – but it’s music of a textural depth that’s difficult to have too much of.

A full-length, sequenced in a way that soothes the listener into still sanguinity before springing a trap of dissonant disquiet to strike at the subconscious, would be special indeed. For now, if any of the cited comparison acts appeal, there’s a good chance this recommended introduction will too.

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