Del Vertigo has a knack for creating lusciously layered atmospheres in his albums. Just witness the washed-out guitars that ripple through his past release ‘Low Level Haze’, or the subtle synths swim through his self-titled album ‘Del Vertigo’. His latest EP ‘On The Day That You Come To’ is no different and boasts the same awe-inspiring attention to detail and stunning sound worlds that we’ve come to expect from this defiantly diverse artist. Del Vertigo — otherwise known as Eric Schaffer, a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and sound engineer from Los Angeles — has crafted an album rich with tender ambience, mesmerising melodic shapes and some seriously powerful production.
‘Obsidian Hills’ sets the tone for the EP with five minutes of hypnotic guitar hooks and silk-like textures swimming through your speakers. Del Vertigo allows the climax of the track to creep in, drawing it out so that when the tides of harmonies and clouds of percussion reach their peak, it’s like being submerged into the most refreshing pool of water. Throughout the whole EP, Del Vertigo plays with anticipation, holding our attention with seemingly simple melodies then moulds them into something that melts into your mind. ‘There’s A Glimmer In The Thicket’ is a knock out for this. The ethereal energy in this track is captivating, and the subtle frequencies that sail through the soundscape are an incredible addition. Whilst Eric’s vocals sit fairly back in the mix, you’re not straining to process the meaning of the words. In fact, blending the vocal line into the mix just allows you to take in each element of this cosmic sonic universe. There are moments in this EP that you feel truly swept into a whole new sonic solar system. Perhaps, nowhere more so than ‘The Fall’. There are layers of synths and striking string-like sounds that sweep through the mix in this five-minute odyssey of experimental production. Crescendos sweep in and out, some large, some small, throughout the whole piece and they create a current of sound that makes it impossible to not get swept into its’ tide. The use of reverb as an instrument in itself is sensational to listen to. This is a vague theme throughout the whole album, but no track pulls you into the gravitational force of the reverb quite like the beginning of ‘The Fall’. ‘In Dreams’ and ‘On The Day That You Come To’ reach into the more upbeat realms of Del Vertigo’s sound. Perhaps, not lyrically. But, with the gentle horns of ‘In Dreams’ and the punctuated chords and easy-going hook of the title track, it’s hard not to hear some optimism sewn into the soundscapes. ‘On The Day That You Come To’ is a masterclass in executing a musical vision and makes for some of the most immersive and impressive listening I have come across in a while. I, for one, will be listening from the riotous riff beginning to the intoxicatingly distorted end on the day that it comes to us (May 22nd).
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By Sasha Lauryn