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Vaarwell – Early Rise Review

Lush dream-pop with a tendency for vocal warping

Dream-pop trio Vaarwell have released their new EP ahead of their performance at the prestigious SWSX event. Moving away from their usual soundscapes, ‘Early Rise’ is about funnelling abstract sounds and experimental thoughts into something that still is approachable and direct.

Opening the EP is ‘Deep’ which has some lovely synth bleeps and pads that evoke sounds of submarines. It’s clever use of beats and frequency changing keyboards makes the song come to life whilst the lush female vocals layer effortlessly, especially for the chorus. ‘Hate To See You Go’ is all about the vocal hook which chews up and pitch shifts down the vocals into a warped ant-helium chant. Light and breezy skipping beats and guitars balance the deepness of the vocals in a cool way that goes against your usual expectations of where different instruments usually sit in a mix.


‘Young’ is the most direct and immediately accessible track of the EP. It cleverly uses water sounds and hand claps to create an industrial chug to let the dreamy guitars and vocal embellishments lick your ears warmly. The EP closes with the downbeat ‘Money’ with its slow R’n’B stomp. Its layered vocals are both straight forward but vocoded and pitch shifted. It feels strangely isolating and lonely and I must admit this track didn’t quite click with me like the other three did.

Vaarwell are clearly a talented trio and like to play around with sound distortion whilst borrowing from the dreamy guitar world too. They are at their best when playing with catchy hooks and adding weird touches to things and with ‘Early Rise’ they’ve made a great first impression.

Recommended track: Youth

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Vaarwell - Early Rise



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