24 Sep 2020
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VÏKÆ - Single Review: Liar

27 Feb 2020 // A review by Callum Wagstaff
Liar is the third in a trio of narratively linked singles by Ukrainian born artist VïKÆ. Like the two songs preceding it, last September's Truth and November's Rumours, Liar deals with the issue of integrity within the context of relationships. Where Liar differs from its predecessors however, is in its R&B influenced instrumentation and deepened willingness to explore one's own flawed behaviours in the subject matter.

VïKÆ is able to acknowledge aspects of the liar's pattern that are often left unexamined by those who merely site lacking in judgement or character. She shares insight about the mechanism itself, admitting lying is easy and gets desirable results while in the same verse describing the weight of preoccupation she feels. The track omits a percussion element in one place to let her words filter through with greater emphasis: "Think about it all the time when I'm alone with my thoughts."

It's not until the second verse that the lyrics describe the consequences more externally than the singer's own psyche, but it's the chorus that has the lyric, "I'm a liar when I'm kissing your skin and when I'm cursing your name", which is the standout line of the song. It hints that even VïKÆ isn't exempt from her own misinformation.

Musically this song is a different animal from Truth or Rumours. The previous tracks were postmodern pop songs, but Liar draws from the traditions of soul and R&B. Reverberating clicks and claps punctuate synthy yet organic chord swells and VïKÆ takes an opportunity to let her voice play with more melody and timbre than she showed us with Rumours' glittery choruses or Truth's ethereal hauntings.

The syrupy textures of the R&B influence ebb and flow between the joints of the song, swimming through the chorus and between the buttery vocal phrasing. Modular knob turning bass lines leave little fuzzy vibrations that make it feel like sinking in a giant pool of chocolate caramel that's been left on a vibrating waterbed. The song has a solid sense of movement and progress over the run time as well; chords develop complexities and choruses develop new vocal harmonies.

VïKÆ has an EP set to drop at the end of March and I'm not only keen to hear that, but she's got me interested to hear what comes after that and after that too. She's done a masterful job at the third single left turn and I'm pretty convinced we'll hear something a little different from her each time. She's already shown she can deal with the dark, but also has the presence of mind to examine it rather than just stand spookily with her back to it.

So, my wish for future VïKÆ stuff is that it goes even deeper.
More of those difficult subject matters, with more attention to their details, more weird medicine bottle samples, more genre adaptations and bigger crescendos! And more bass lines that sound like the noise just before big space movie explosions go off.
Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About VÏKÆ

Originally born in Ukraine and seeking refuge in New Zealand post Chernobyl; classically trained musician VïKÆ has done a full 360 dance through the music-sphere. Originally training as an opera singer, VïKÆ switched genres when she felt the need to create art that provokes thoughts, is catchy, exciting and fresh. Finishing her Bachelor of Music (Performance Voice) from the University of Otago (2016) VÏKÆ has finally landed where she describes as feeling ‘most at home’. Personal experiences provide a voice for the voiceless and an homage to the underdogs. Breaking stigmas to showcase the true magic behind closed doors for those living with disabilities and those who suffer from mental health, VÏKÆ is not shy about her was diagnosis with bipolar; saying “being creative is a great form of healing”. VÏKÆ lathers her songs in silvery and powerful vocals and her lyricism is raw, clever and a little peculiar. Taking inspiration from Taylor Swift, Astrud Gilberto, Ella Fitzgerald and traditional Ukrainian instruments, VÏKÆ is certainly one to watch.




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