Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Owen Williams

Ex​-​Vöid – Ex​-​Vöid (EP Review, Stream)

Over the past 7 days, there have been full streams that found release with names like Yours Are The Only Ears, Adrian Teacher and The Suits, Boys, Liminal, Fennesz, Ivy Lab, Gutterbawl, The Body, Utah, Samara Lubelski, and Neighbor Lady attached. The recently-featured Ex​-​Vöid also got to unveil their new EP (which isn’t a single, a seemingly prevalent misconception), a self-titled three song burst of addictive post-punk shot through with confetti.

Fresh off the release of  Ex​-​Vöid‘s effortlessly charming lead-off track “Boyfriend”, the trio wasted no time in ushering out a concise EP. All of the sensibilities that Alanna McArdle and Owen Williams showcased as (now ex-) members of Joanna Gruesome are back on full display in Ex​-​Vöid. Gorgeous harmonies, a pitch-perfect balancing act of harsh noise and pristine tones, and a sense of playfulness embedded into relentless aggression, Ex​-​Vöid are more than winsome at first blush but reveal a surprising amount of layering, as does their first release.

Both “Anyone (Other Than U)” and “(Angry At You) Baby” are assured pieces of basement pop injected with enough punk bite to satisfy the genre’s die-hard loyalists. McArdle and Williams play off of each other to perfection, their voices working in tandem to strengthen each other. It’s the dichotomies, scales, and unity that defines Ex​-​Vöid, which presents the band as fully-formed, incredibly assured, and ready to conquer whatever comes their way. Easily one of the year’s strongest EP’s and unquestionably one of our best new bands.

Listen to Ex​-​Vöid below and pick it up from the band here.

Ex-Vöid – Boyfriend (Music Video)

Last week there were exceptional songs from Bing & Ruth, LIFE, Drahla, Active Bird Community, Remember Sports, Oddnesse, Animal House, Therese Lithner, Lilith, Natalie Prass, Proud Parents, The Goon Sax, RVG, Beach Skulls, Winston Vista,  and Co Sonn. There was also the re-introduction of two former members of site favorites Joanna Gruesome, one of which — Alanna McArdle — being the vocalist that played a pivotal role in their rise to prominence.

That reintroduction comes with the arrival of Ex-Vöid, a power trio that falls neatly in line with where McArdle and Owen Williams left off with their old project, bringing the exact same kind of kinetic energy back to the table. Twee indie pop sensibilities once again infiltrating a noisy post-punk lens in “Boyfriend”, the band’s irresistible new single. Taking cues from a perfectly curated list of sources, from Sarah Records to Flying Nun, Ex-Vöid rekindle a spark that was seemingly extinguished when they departed Joanna Gruesome.

“Boyfriend” is short but it’s sharp, sinking its hooks in deep enough to leave the kind of marks that lead to fondly-recognized scars. The into is a cavalcade of noise but that disintegrates into sunny melodies in an instant, the band launching into that familiar but distinct sound, bridging their influences to their own singular identity. It’s a thrilling listen that offers up a few more surprises as it goes, offering up enough grace notes to portend a bright future for a voice that we should all be glad has rejoined the table.

Listen to “Boyfriend” below and pre-0rder Ex-Vöid from Don Giovanni.