Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Vök tackle grief on their new self-titled album


Release date: 23 September 2022
Vok Vok Album Artwork
23 September 2022, 14:00 Written by Connor Shelton

Vök’s first full-length album in three years, their new self-titled release doubles down on the electronic meets dream pop qualities that had defined the Icelandic group’s two previous records, 2017’s Figure and 2019’s In The Dark.

The efforts to stick to the winning formula would normally invite criticisms of the band playing things safe, yet the lyrical focus suggests that Vök attempted to go beyond the bedroom pop lyrics of their previous works and offer a meditation on grief. The album arguably plays loose with this thread, but it sometimes lends to the band’s most inspired tracks.

Vök’s first two tracks, “Intro” and “Something Bad” establish a narrative about mortality that swaps between the first and third person rather liberally. Things quickly settle in “No Coffee at the Funeral,” which uses the specificity of its title to lend to the impact death has had on the song’s narrator, seeing as they can’t find even a minor comfort to ease their pain.

After the first three tracks conclude, Vök’s songs shift toward more oblique subject matter, with the pain of death seemingly being equated to the dissolution of a relationship. The attempt to cope with loss in this lyrical fashion is mirrored in the slinky grooves of tracks like “Lose Control” which blend electronica with faintly funk infused indie rock. Elsewhere on the album, the upbeat melodies and light rhythms of songs such as “Stadium” work in tandem with the focus on healing through love (of music).

The record’s strongest track comes in the form of “Illuminating,” a song which leans on warmer instrumentation to sell the endearing tale of a blossoming romance. It’s also the track where Margrét Rán Magnúsdóttir somewhat breathy vocals are at their most appropriate, giving the composition the perfect balance between intimacy and buoyancy. Were the album to end here, few would complain, but unfortunately, Vök offers two additional tracks before the finale, both of which scream as B-side material.

Despite the slight detour toward forgettable mediocrity, Vök conclude their self-titled album with the winsome “Running Wild.” Its colourful lyrics with mention of “a sad cowboy” and “blossoms in your eyes” are matched with a hip-hop infused beat and nuanced mix of acoustic guitar with electric instrumentation, suggesting a path forward for potential releases.

While by no means a masterpiece (very few things are), Vök is another solid chapter in Vök’s discography. More could arguably be done with the themes of loss on the record, but the music still tickles that fine indie-electronica niche that the band’s most ardent followers crave.

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