Vonelle is a Toronto-based, indie rock band who released a self-titled EP last spring. The five song long EP pairs experimental song structures with Julia Crawford’s ethereal voice, creating a whole lot of wonder in just under twenty minutes.
The opening track (“Over&Over”) starts with a catchy beat and a poetic first line, “Pretty once parading all over your bed.” Crawford continues to deliver vivid lines about dreams with a “ruby red gleam,” while also subtly balancing the surreal with the real through rhyme—like, “radios trying to pretend” with “be your own best friend.”
The EP slows at it’s centre, “My Love.” Crawford croons, “my heart, my heart is so blue for you, for you.” The reverberations on “blue” and “you” give it a spacey vibe (a rocket-prepping-for-takeoff kind of crescendo) that whooshes through Crawford’s voice, before everything slows back into a syrupy-sweet rhythm.
With “Young Soul,” Crawford lets the surreal-tinged pop back in and offers a demonstration of her vocal capabilities. She easily switches between the gritty “You’re so, you’re so—let go” (calling back the tone of “Old News”) and the airy, melodious “Isn’t she lovely naked and pure.”
The last track (“The Haunt”) has Crawford repeating, “I’m going to go far, going to be a star, don’t need you anymore” Though it’s admittedly an easy line (the rhyme basic and the words cliché), it’s saved by the authenticity in Crawford’s voice and it sparks to life, becoming one of the most memorable lines of the EP.
The 30 seconds of vocal-free dance music that follow allow the line to resonate all the more, before the track slows right down to the final, crooned-out line of the EP: “Haunt my dreams, but you never bring me flowers.”
Those nine words unsettle the supposed spacey transcendence of being a “star” non-obsessed with the boy who made her heart all blue. Is this EP just one haunted dream on loop, the admittance of “I keep having the same dream” in “Over&Over” predicting the course of the whole EP? Is there a lack of narrative progression? Or have I just listened to the album too many times?
Vonelle has clearly put a lot of thought into the structure and lyrics of their EP, and I’ll be watching out for their next release. For now, check out their bandcamp page and give them a much-deserved listen!
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