Vök – Figure (Nettwerk Records)
LP / CD / DL
8 / 10
28 April 2017
Some albums are difficult to review, not because they are unlikable but because they are just, well, great to listen to. Figure by Vök is one such album. Call it dream-pop, call it alternative pop, call it whatever you like, maybe just call it a quite lovely listen.
Vök hail from Iceland and it would be unfair to compare them to any other artist from the country, That said, there are often similarities in vocal style from Margrét Rán to one Bjork and sometimes the music is as dreamy as Emiliana Torrini’s stunning debut Love In The Time Of Science, sometimes it’s just a quartet making fabulous sounds.
Produced by Brett Cox (recent nominee for Young Producer Of The Year), Figure follows EPs Tension (2013) and Circles (2015). The album is clinically pure, shiny pure and full of whispers, echoes and dreamy melodies that swirl and delightfully spin around for long after the album has ended. It is in many ways, an absolute triumph.
Rán claims that the album claims the album is ‘about anger, obsession, negligence, death, love, happiness and hope’ but it’s hard to feel anything that complete adoration. There are no feelings of ill on Figure, it’s pure joy. Current single Show Me is infectiously addictive – it ups the tempo slightly with cavalcades of guitars and drums which seem loud but distant at the same time, synths effects reverb in and out and a simple bass underpins the whole creation. It will undoubtedly attract radio play.
The following track Crime, feels darker but still retains the innocence that pervades throughout the ten tracks on display. It could almost drift into some sort of Europop trite but resists beautifully, it often reaches climatic proportions then holds back for one more surge, it feels sexy, it feels bleaker, and it even has a hook that sounds like a Bond movie brass section.
Where Figure often succeeds is in its unwillingness to compromise. Let yourself free with this album and you’ll just ‘feel’ it. It isn’t often an album comes along that allows the listener to wallow in delight and magic, but this one does. It’s just lovely.