In his new EP, Vacation Blues, the Norway-residing bedroom pop artist Denim Blue tore off the facade and abstracted any sense of pretence to deliver a 6-track release which encompasses the dissonance that the journey of loss and recovery imparts.
Inner turmoil is always a field of landmines, but never has it been filled with so many efficacious hooks. Vacation Blues stands as a testament to Denim Blue’s ability to capture the confusion within the human condition while sending you deep into a state of sonic beguile.
Track 1, Brand New, is undoubtedly the earworm of the EP. Unlike your average earworm, the melodic indie pop rock hit sticks to your synapses like superglue through the cohesion between the apathetically hooky vocals and the colourful melodies. Track 2, Tear Me Down, heightens the emotion by stripping back the production to an art pop serenade of lost love.
Track 3, Field of Dreams, shares sonic textures with shoegaze while Denim Blue runs with his signature rough, raw and relatable vocal timbre before Down completely shifts the synthetics of the EP into a hazy synth-pop lament. Decidedly one of the sweet spots on the EP, Waste My Time exhibits the best of Denim Blue’s lyrical gravitas before the concluding single, Bloom, blossoms under warm saturated delay.
Putting context and intensifying the listening experience, this is what Denim Blue had to say on Vacation Blues:
“Vacation Blues is a short but open story. There are a few ways to interpret it as it grows darker with different stages of losing hope, love, will and identity. At the end of the EP, there is a realisation, but it is a cyclical story; the first and last tracks have the same vocal hook with different meanings.
It is about struggling to move on, whether from heartbreak, addiction, mental health, or any other personal matter; it is up to you to decide, as the listener. I wanted it to feel familiar, almost like the inner voice that tries to speak up.”
Stream Vacation Blues on Spotify & SoundCloud.
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Review by Amelia Vandergast