Get Swept Away with Audrey Vixen

Good Morrow fair internet folk! As you can see I’ve shifted days, and for foreseeable future I will be joining the fantastic Ms. Winslow-Danger, bringing you brand new Selections every Saturday. This week I’ve got something from Down Unda: budding new Australian electronica duo Audrey Vixen just released an EP, Butterfly Lullaby.

One of the most immediately noticeable things about this EP is that it is rather misleading, in the sense that the songs totally defied my expectations. Most of the tracks on Butterfly Lullaby have an incredible feeling of power to them: they start off low and slow, but the energy of the underlying bass rhythm gives the sense that something massive and dramatic is being built up to. Listening to this music is like being on a wave that rises and rises and becomes a towering wall of water that looms over you and seems like it can’t help but smash into you and wash away everything…. But then all of a sudden the enormous wave just fades away. Butterfly Lullaby is misleading because it tricks you into thinking it’s going to be loud and dramatic, then totally surprises you by being subtler and more intricate than you would have imagined.

The second track on the EP, “Calma”, is a perfect example of this deceptiveness. The song opens with a mechanical, otherworldly voice speaking as if from a great distance, telling us that we must make peace within ourselves, we must accept all the negative energies and emotions that exist inside us… Quite apart from the fact that I love weird vocal samples in my electronica, this track is wonderful because of how subtle it is. The strange speaker slowly fades into a tide of sound that rises up and overwhelms its voice and your mind. It blots out all the noise in your head and becomes more than music. It turns into a pure wall of sound, a current that washes your thoughts away and then resolves into simple, pure keyboard notes and fades away…

 

As much as I like the subtle emptiness of “Calma”, my favorite song on the EP has to be the final track. “Home” opens with a simple, bright piano line which gets swallowed up by a deep, reverberation laden, synthy rhythm that somehow manages to be both simple and complex at the same time. This reverberating wave of sound fills you up but does not overwhelm. It lifts you up, pulls you high into the air, keeps you riding right on the brink. And just when it is becoming too much, just when you think the wave will break and fall and collapse onto you it resolves into a zippy, high-hat laden drum rhythm that lets you relax and tap your feet, and then fuzes with the rest of the sound again and fades out. It is a beautiful final track for the EP.

 

But hey, don’t take my word for any of this, head on over to Audrey Vixen’s Bandcamp and check out Butterfly Lullaby for yourself.

See you next weekend!

– Zev

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