Welcome to my site! If you happen to stumble upon this, it is really just a place that I can write musings about any topics that I find interesting. Content additions may be few and far between, but I fully intend to make as much use of this site as much as possible.

Dec 31, 2018

When is the future? VNV Nation's 'Noire' Makes My 2018 Album of the Year

Although a late pickup 'Noire' was a pleasant surprise. Although I had heard of VNV Nation around the time of the first album, I had not given VNV much attention since I was what I would call "musically confused" at the time. Boy did I miss out. Luckily, while listening to the excellent Communion After Dark podcast (which I also found recently and is something else I had missed out for on the longest time), they had played several tracks from VNV's latest album. After hearing the tracks 'Wonders' and 'Collide' I was hooked. I went over to Bandcamp and gave the full album a listen. 'Noire' hit characteristics of the synth-pop and EBM genres that I always find myself attracted to. I was also taken by the beautiful mix of dark and juxtaposed uplifting lyrics. Right away went and purchased the CD from the Metropolis website. The track 'Collide' feels like an ethereal trip to space with it's slow tempo and use of sweeping synth reminiscent of Vangelis' works. To me the lyrics represent, while we operate day-to-day, year-to-year, often in our own spheres of life, we are all interconnected. Ultimately we impact each other in many ways.

A track that has a very different feel is 'When The Lights Go Out.' This gives me the feeling of hunkering down and surviving a (possibly negative) life changing event. Pushing through with all one's will and having to continue to do so. No certainty on what the outcome will be in the end. This came to mind with the somewhat apocalyptic representation in the lyrics. The music itself, feels very dark and claustrophobic with a full "4 to the floor" beat driving the energy. It treads near the industrial genre (which also like). The most important and favorite track on the album for me is 'When Is The Future.' Not only does it have some great, deep lyrics it has that full synth-pop sound. While listening to it the lyrics hit me hard with images of modern life, thoughts of both what we are doing with it, and what is next. Technology is moving very fast and humans are fundamentally changing along with it. A lyric, "We're searching for something that can never satisfy," is how I feel with the way constantly incorporate more and more technology into our lives while at the same time giving up more control. Giving up control in exchange for an existence that feels comfortable. The lyrics can also invite a larger existential significance with our desire to create something that will last forever and difficulty accepting that all things have an end. What is next? When will we wake to find a new way to live? Are we even part of the this new world? Whatever meaning Ronan was intending with this song I found it very thought provoking.

'Noire' is a great album and has given me an excuse to go back and experience VNV Nation's previous releases. Hat's off to you Ronan, this is a great collection of songs.

P.S. I apologize for any poor sentence structure and any seemingly trite interpretations. I am a bit rusty when it comes to writing and will improve with time.

Noire on Bandcamp: https://vnvnation.bandcamp.com/album/noire-44khz-24bit-version
Noire on Metropolis Records: https://www.metropolis-records.com/product/11654/noire
Communion After Dark Podcast: http://www.communionafterdark.com/