There’s a lot to absorb and enjoy on three-piece VHCLE’s latest single release, ‘Love Games.’
VHCLE – Love Games
Listening to this dark, dreamy, yet pulsating track, a wide range of musical reference points spring to mind from the easy, compelling rhythms of Faithless, the druggy, trippy vibe of Dummy-era Portishead and the classic big-beat sound of Propellerheads and Lo Fidelity Allstars. This is not to suggest that VHCLE sound derivative in any way. The musical soundscape conjured up on ‘Love Games’ does not sit easily into any genre, and that is a compliment.
“VHCLE offers, both sonically and lyrically, a compelling blend of allure and dissent.”
Partly this is due to the fascinating contrast between the three musicians, all of whom contribute vocals. As a gestalt entity, Chelsea Mikel, Kyle Piety and Blind Bear move organically from beautiful and haunting to visceral, edgy and unsettling. Perhaps the highest praise I can give ‘Love Games’ is that it repays multiple listens and sounds even better each time through. Mikel, Piety and Blind Bear play off each other wonderfully and clearly revel in working together.
As VHCLE themselves explain:
“We tried a lot of different things with the vocals, leading the song to be completely different from how it started. (Very typical of our creative process.) “
It’s a process that is clearly working very well for them. For a group that only came together in 2021, the trio sounds remarkable cohesive, whilst crucially retaining their individual musical personalities.
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Words Chris Wheatley