On the first listen of VRL’s debut the obsession-fuelled love song brings one word to mind – fresh. Her sound is heavily grounded in the realms of synth-pop, but there’s a unique effervescence to the sounds they’re fusing together. Right now, VRL will be a new name for most of us. But from the sounds of her very first track, they’ll likely be a name we won’t forget. With their debut track ‘Kill 4 U Die 4 U’ coming out on the 14th of this month, she’s setting out to put a twist on our Valentine’s Days.
‘Kill 4 U Die 4 U’ is an explosion of electro-pop goodness. We are thrown straight into the deep end of the sea of synths that make up the soundscape of this track. The droning bass creates a really interesting texture straight off the bat. There’s a gentle fuzziness that is broken up beautifully by the sparkling synths making a melody above it. When Valerie’s vocals enter, they cut through the noise like crystal. What makes this track so striking is the evolution of Valerie’s vocals throughout the track. Starting off somewhat restrained, she keeps a tender tone to match the subdued sonic landscape. By the end, we get to hear them at full throttle. The empowering belt moments take the meaning of this track to a whole new level. As she lets go into the all-consuming love the lyrics are about, she lets loose with her ad-libs and vocals too. The last chorus is a feast of fantastically fused sound. It feels a little like their vocals are sitting too far back in the mix, but perhaps blending stacks of synths and harmonies is what makes the wall of sound so satisfying. There’s a smooth guitar line swimming somewhere within the mix, blurred within the wash of synths floating around it. The movement of this riff creates a colourful contrast throughout the whole of ‘Kill 4 U Die 4 U’. There’s something very CHVRCHES about the whole affair. An undeniable highlight of this track is the poetry sewn into the lyrics. Whilst the title may be completely straightforward, there’s real metaphorical magic to Valerie’s words here. ‘Kill 4 U Die 4 U’ is a seriously strong debut for VRL as she releases a track with a real sense of identity and a self-assured sound.
Kill 4 U Die 4 U Is Out Everywhere on 14th February 2022
By Sasha Lauryn