Each week Vulture Hound picks a new artist you should definitely be checking out. This week, Dan explains why L.A.’s vōx deserves your absolute attention.
Over the past few years L.A. based artist, vōx (pronounced wokes) has been drip feeding us examples of her haunting take on experimental-pop. One. track. at. a. time.
From the creeping post-Empire anthem of ‘Better’, to the stripped back and beautifully melancholy, ‘Put The Poison In Me’, she has been demonstrating her knack for producing darkly intriguing and, at times, totally intoxicating pop. With a unique array of influences, both in terms of music and visual aesthetic, there’s no one quite like her – or at least no one that quite does it as well as her.
Last week she announced ‘some’ details about her debut EP, in that; it’s been recorded, and it will be released…soon. It’s the kind of vague and mysterious aurora that’s surrounded this most intriguing of artists for the past two and a half years, ever since she emerged with the track ‘Better’ in 2014.
Since then it’s been a bit of a waiting game. One that offers moments of satisfaction along the way whenever a new track suddenly pops up online.
2015 came and went with a handful of new tracks, as did 2016. We got the tracks ‘Money’, ‘Claws’ and ‘Get Down’, we even got her take on Kendrick Lamar’s ‘I’ (ft. Dylan Brady), recalling a time pre-vōx when, under her real name Sarah Winters, she would record her own versions of various Hip-Hop tracks, from Kanye to Kendrick.
Each new track that landed in that time seemed to adhere to the same principal; the voice is an instrument and it’s very much the main one. Every song is constructed around her voice; layered harmonies, vocoders and reverberant vocal drones, creating a mix which would more than stand up as straight out a cappella. But we do get some very fitting musical accompaniments, ones that move between rhythmic trip-hop and bass driven soundscapes, all simmering and reacting to an ever evolving, hypnotic vocal performance.
So, fast forward to February 2017, and the announcement that a debut EP is incoming AND AND AND a brand new track…
‘I Was Born’ not only keeps the ‘voice is an instrument’ line, it does away with musical accompaniment all together. She’s finally gone complete a cappella. Proof that this most unique of voices is capable of going it alone.
Despite still being in the relatively early stages of her musical career, Sarah/vōx has managed to find such a distinct and unique ‘voice’. Hard to pigeon hole and nearly impossible to predict, any upcoming release should be met with both anticipation and a warm blanket (because, chills).
You can also check out our list of 2017’s Must Hear artists and bands, including vōx, Hunck, Claudia Kane, blanket, Husky Loops, Shit Present, Toy Mountains, Andy Oliveri & The Mountaineers, and more in Issue #15 of Vulture Hound Magazine, here.