Do you ever get sick of kicking off the weekend with bombastic, fun loving tunes? Because today, we’re gonna try something different with VARYA and their latest EP Oh Them Rivers.
Varya’s musical aesthetic is hard to pin down – is it progressive modernized chamber pop? Is it ambient singer/songwriter? Whatever it is, it’s hauntingly cool and original, with floating, disembodied vocal harmonies and esoteric leanings in every direction.
In short, it’s whatever it wants to be – whether it’s math rock, folk, jazz, grunge, ambient, electronic, or acoustic. For a smoky little bit of all of that, check out “Lady, Please” below.
Any musical influences present, if you can call them that, are equally hard to describe when it comes to on Oh Them Rivers. The unquestionable sense of environment and a connection to it is palpable throughout, like a woodsier Beth Gibbons (Portishead) or Imogen Heap. We even got a whiff of Ibeyi and none other than Alice in Chains’ Layne Staley when it came to the harmony department – Varya’s vocal compositions are a force of nature, often pivoting on atypical notes or accents that add a mystical element to an already mysterious combination.
In the end, these are all quality touchstones, but each of the seven tracks on Oh Them Rivers delivers something original and understated that doesn’t need an obvious influence. While it might not fling people into the weekend with manic speed or incomprehensible jargon, we promise you, there is plenty of that to go around. But that being said, if you can stand to take it easy for a moment and get ready for some sweater weather via this soulful outlier of a record, we’d recommend it. It’s well worth your time.
We were thinking that soup sounded great with the sweater talk and all, and then we got to thinking… what kind of soup would this record inspire? A cold soup or a hot soup? Are we secretly obsessed with food and questioning our very livelihoods? No, not at all. Not at all. Check out more from Varya here and if you want to fuel our non-existential non-crisis with caffeine, hit the coffee button here. We’ve got Cinema, FeeFaFum, and The Pieces of Shit! up next, including a secret exclusive – thanks for reading!