Vidaus - Don't Check My Arms Pt.1 - Stereo Stickman

Vidaus Don’t Check My Arms Pt.1


An ever-thoughtful Vidaus gets all the more contemplative and deep with this latest full-length project of originals.

The intriguingly titled Don’t Check My Arms is an album that softly breathes its insecurities and uncertainties into the room around you, creating immediately calming ambiances, yet each one with an air of concern or unsettled freedom.

Intro sets the bar this way with its gentle guitar riffs and breathy, whispered vocals raining down in the distance. The music creates a sense of sitting by the window, in a cosy room, as the world falls apart outside.

We Loved Once and True sees lyricism enter the process in an emotive and honest way. The music sounds pure and optimistic, the vocals sound tired yet content, and on the whole the piece leaves a sense of possibility that’s brighter than anything to follow.

Moments We Had sees these shoe-gaze-like, reverb-soaked guitar soundscapes continue – hypnotic riffs and simple, echoing moments of musicality. Alongside of this you get a spoken word vocal that quickly grabs attention and sets the scene in a notably specific fashion. Then a choir of vocals softly juxtapose the clean-cut aura of the intro, with barely audible ideas but a certain longing for the past; a desire to recapture moments lost.

Mother And Sister is another one that sounds beautiful, hopeful, loaded with imagery and poetry, yet it emerges with a certain distance and uncertainty that begs for you to listen intently, more than once, to truly take on the story-line. The vocal distance and softness makes it difficult, but the calming sound lets you get lost within the experience regardless, and the further along things go, and indeed with each revisit, the details slowly but surely reveal themselves. Ultimately a poetic and powerful song about the passing of time, the joy and the sadness, the details and intricacies we remember.

at first i didn’t believe it
i watch the change in season
dead leaves and blood will turn
the dirt to watered pastures

As an artist, Vidaus walks a creative and softly spoken line between the melodic emo rap styles of the late Lil Peep, and the more acoustic offerings from bands like Brand New, back in the day. Never Seen Snow is a fine example. His vocals echo through each soundscape, almost like unedited utterances or fragments from a diary. Meanwhile these guitar-led ambiances feel all at once organic, in the room with you, and mildly electronic to the point of being notably inspired by trip-hop and synth-soaked, reverb-drenched easy listening. These tracks prove to be the perfect setting in which to ponder the world and one’s role within it; and that’s precisely what Vidaus shows himself to be doing.

Every Single Night (A French Girl Put Sheets Over Me As I Slept) offers a much-welcomed moment of instrumental pause and, again, optimism. A beautiful piece, all the more impressive on second listen, and a pleasure to have fill the room whenever it crops up within the playlist. I was actually reminded briefly of the acoustic music Eddie Vedder made for the InTo The Wild soundtrack. Your mind wanders freely as the performance weaves its web.

Despite hints of positivity and hope scattered throughout an ultimately reflective and decidedly considerate playlist, the whole thing comes to a powerfully melancholic and heart-breaking finish, as the pain and desperation of MORBID: 48 Hours pours through.

The inevitable is perhaps the thing that hits us all the hardest – the lingering death of a parent, their suffering and the helplessness as it happens. Though the song is again gentle and dreamlike in nature, the quiet lyrics pierce through with their deeply emotional and genuinely pain-stricken tone and faultless realism. It’s a hard pill to swallow, and at the final hurdle, it essentially brings back the conceptual blanket of the album’s title. We seek to escape, we crave the past, we drown in our own regrets and mistakes and memories.

A powerful project, raw in presentation – but this simply adds to the authenticity of it.

Download the project via Bandcamp or stream it on Soundcloud. Find & follow Vidaus on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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