EP of the Week: JVLY – 'Ache'

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Who is JVLY? After the unveiling of the Sydney producer’s debut EP, Ache, titled after its lead single, this is a question that everyone is asking. Both new-age and compelling, the five-track offering blends atmospheric beats with dreamy vocals that will leave you feeling as though you are falling backwards into another world, and an exquisite one at that.

JVLY draws his listeners in within seconds with 'Ache' as soft rain falls. He quickly showcases his ability to experiment with unusual sounds while delivering a playful tone as his mellow vocals dance with the beat. This track is not an exact science, but it doesn’t have to be! It is the soundtrack of ritzy rooftop parties where the wine is savoured and so is the sound.

The EP then flows to 'Stone'. The track transports you to another time and place, and it’s mesmerising. Only this time, you’re wandering through a rainforest at total peace. It’s the unique sounds of the xylophone and chimes that trademark this track as atmospheric. Siren-like vocals from featured artist, SARAI, speak to you as the song goes on, and elevate the production as you find yourself lost in the sound. JVLY recently commented, “I made all of these songs with the thought of a visual in mind. If you’ve got a good idea of what a song might look like if it was translated to a screen, then [it’s]….easier to steer it where you’re trying to go.” It is ideas such as this that contribute to JVLY’s depth as an artist.

The subsequent track, 'Drowning', delves deeper into the soul. As the softest track on the album, JVLY takes this opportunity to demonstrate his multi-faceted talent. 'Drowning' overlays distorted synths with a graceful melody on falling in love. The seductive vocals hone in on a touch of the blues, reminding us of the beauty of young love, while the sounds of water and mermaid-like calls reveal the danger of drowning in another person. The unusual beats grow with the song to create a sense of uneasiness within the listener. While JVLY’s previous tracks were to please the listener, this is about telling a story. 

'Namek' is a musical oasis sure to make the likes of Frank Ocean and Tame Impala proud. The spaced-out beats by JVLY and the featured vocals of Miami rapper, Chester Watson, come together in a dream to deliver minutes of bliss. Watson’s monotone vocals add a unique depth to the track and demand your attention with meaning. This song provides an energy that is hard to find in mainstream music and is single-handedly the reason why JVLY’s EP must be heard.

The final track, and my personal favourite, 'Void', is magnetic. The track opens with the cracklings of vinyl, cut through by ghost-like chants that will leave you speechless. As the song develops with ethereal, electronic vibrations, SARAI’s effortless vocals shine through, humming “I wish you were someone else”. The track transcends the listener, evoking both a feeling of desperation and euphoria. It isn’t until 3:30 that JVLY distorts our reality and offers something different entirely, leaving us begging for more.

JVLY’s sound is refreshing and uniquely artistic. His ability to bend genres and blend sounds on Ache declare him a game-changer in the music industry, and certainly one to watch in 2018. If you haven’t pressed play already, I urge you to do it now.

Written by Hannah Woodfield

You can purchase Ache here or stream it via Apple Music.