VOICEsVOICEs Origins(Manimal Vinyl) Buy it from Insound
If demonic messages truly live inside the grooves of albums across the globe, housed by obscuring sound effects or recorded backwards as the paranoids suggest, it would make sense that these messages exist in an album like Origins. The album is gorgeous, less likely to be a soundtrack for possession and carnage, though more likely to be universally accepted. Thusly, the demons will have an easier time corrupting souls, massacring consciences and spreading ill will. Makes you think differently about soft rock, huh? Maybe the squares have Slayer beat on the evil tip.
This thought occurred to me over my third or fourth spin of VOICEsVOICEs’ new album, when the song Flulyk Visions presented its indecipherable and collaged vocalizations in a series of forward/backward playing movements that seem floodgates for interpretation.
Origins, the ethereal experiment by coconspirators, Jenean Farris and Nico Turner is a six-song ode to vocal intensity and electro-ambience heavy enough for shoegazers to drift along dreamlike and calm, susceptible to suggestion. VOICEsVOICEs, as Origins illustrates, is probably the most appropriately named band I can think of, vocal dominance so dramatic it’s easy to forget other instruments are at play.
As drummers, Farris and Turner obviously know to construct a pace. Flulyk Visions and the album’s title track are both mid-tempo vehicles that allow their voices to wallow, float and seduce. Even with instrumental Sounds Outloud, (the thirty-second Transition seems too inconsequential to really factor into the overall album), an experimental hodgepodge of found studio hums, zips and buzzes, they manage to generate a similar experience, making the entire album uniform.
Still, as VOICEsVOICEs openly seek to overdose the listener with a heap of gorgeous, the album’s most genuine song is the electro-folkish, Out From Under. With no apparent rhythm in place, the song relies on soft instruments and symphonic orchestrations to break through the vocal wash and create a cohesive flow.
Though Farris and Turner manage to fuse together a very layered and beautiful album, Origins benefits from being only six songs, (a radio edit of Flulyk Visions is included). The album ably showcases VOICEsVOICEs’ voices, but there isn’t a lot of variation. And, maybe that was the goal: That they simply combine their voices and come up with something unique in the process, which they’ve achieved. I’m interested, though, in how far they take their sound before it reveals any potential lack of versatility.