aVIE’s EP Chutney Chasers is one that takes its time to craft something blissfully soulful and simultaneously fascinating around its audience. The title track begins the journey and deals with the topic of exotification, something you don’t find all too often in music. The song is stunning, ambient and spacious, expressive and calm, aVIE’s leading voice too is superb – leaning back and forth between the low and gritty, and the higher and more delicate. This is something like trip hop with an edge of The Weeknd or even Prince. Fusing hip hop and RnB in a manner that ends up feeling like neither but just existing as its own thoughtful bit of sublime escapism.
Tapwater follows the opener and adds rhythm to the collection, the RnB vibes come through faster – an infectious melody-line, a notable level of frustration or tension in the leading voice; a captivating story-line to match. Always the production is on point, creative and – in this case – impossible to predict. These electronic elements weave in and out of the song, crafting something lightly uplifting and musically inspiring around you. The various vocal sections add further to the passion and creativity – the intensity and pace increases and the song starts to hit harder and harder. The final moments are huge, a backing choir and a kicked up beat create beautiful chaos behind the artist’s soulfully meandering voice.
The Self veers off in an even more experimental direction somehow. Smoothness and calm are alternated with moments of electronic quickness. The lyrics are fascinating again, the ideas reach out to connect, speaking on your behalf but in a way you had likely never considered before. At this point, genre labels become completely irrelevant. Flickers of country-like guitar bring a cinematic quality to this retro, intensifying piece of melody and vocal explosiveness. aVIE utilizes every second and every building block to represent the emotions at the heart of his work.
New Feathers is a mildly familiar and heart-breaking bit of melody and soul. The beat again paves its own way, unconcerned with industry expectations or past successes. This track grows to offer a dense level of lyricism, some of which is incredibly poetic and poignant. Eclecticism plays a big part in making this project stand tall, yet still you get a feel for the aVIE approach – this alternative angle has several threads and references that remain throughout to make it feel like home. The lyrics here are incredibly interesting and well worth hearing more than once or twice.
aVIE offers impressive production alongside of mesmerising creativity and unwavering passion. This comes through in the songwriting, the vocal sound, the instrumentation, the ideas – all of it speaks volumes. Midnight Oil is a bizarre yet compelling and addictively unusual piece of music and performance. You feel lost within it but the experience is welcomed. There’s weight to the concept but there’s also intermittent lightness within the soundscape, so it pays to just dive right in -to turn it up loud and stay along for the ride. This track adds hopeful rhythm and colour and is well received at this penultimate moment.
As suggested, a single listen to this EP doesn’t really do it justice. I’ll be listening again, even just for the sheer joy of it – for how refreshing it is, how original and how well presented. Take Care ends the playlist with a beach-side vibe, an acoustic and beautiful, heartfelt performance that suddenly places the artist right there beside you. A wonderful way to go out. You recognize the talent in so many ways throughout this EP. aVIE is a pleasure to discover and I look forward to listening to all of these songs again and again over the coming months. Absolutely one to look out for.