Music

Vök - "Erase You" (Singles Going Steady)

Photo courtesy of the artist

Icelandic electropop trio, Vök's "Erase You" is a testament to strength although it's not outwardly apparent. It expresses emotional mutability and the ultimate belief that strength can be derived from subjection.

Elisabeth Woronzoff: Vök's "Erase You" is a testament to strength although it's not outwardly apparent. The Icelandic trio's new single is awash in sparkling synths to create an aural fragility fortified by drums and guitar. Likewise, the lyrics "You try to control me, to own me, so it backfires / The joke's on you" demonstrate a delicacy slowly shifting towards strength. Visually, the video's use of contemporary dance signals a corporeal lightness while reiterating the body as a point of power. In doing so, "Erase You" expresses emotional mutability and the ultimate belief that strength can be derived from subjection. [9/10]

Rod Waterman: This is the kind of thing that should be on the radio all the time. It feels like it was written in one of those Scandinavian songwriting factories you hear about, but I always assume that the workers there are well taken care of and get plenty of breaks, free healthcare, and at least six weeks of annual vacation. "Erase You" is a deceptive song in that it's such a bouncy joint yet at the same time the lyrics are so biting. In this respect, it recalls the queen of such mixed messages, Robyn. Makes me want to check out the album whence it came, In the Dark. Strong work, Vök. [8/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: I really thought that the breathy voice trend so common to Nordic indie pop like Vök's would be over by now, but it's still going strong on "Erase You", a song with the weight of a breeze and a dreamy quality - albeit a blandness that makes that dream hardly worth remembering. This is radio-friendly music at its easiest, a monochrome ode to suffocating beneath the emotional weight of another. [4/10]

Mick Jacobs: The "ha - ha ha"'s that open the track recall the Haim sisters along with Caribou's inescapable "Can't Do Without You". "It's a funny little thing when you try to control me/Own me/Then it backfires" arrives early on and sets the stage - a coolly amused observer watching another try to get the upper hand. When they talk about "winning" in a relationship, this is how you do it. [8/10]

Mike Schiller: Vök immediately evokes thoughts of CHVRCHES, from the breathy vocals in the intro to the unexpectedly savage lyrical bent, not to mention the synthpop approach. While "Erase You" doesn't come off as particularly original, it is a fine example of the genre. "Erase You" is well-produced and catchy, and vocalist Margrét Rán Magnúsdóttir even has an arguably more appealing voice than CHVRCHES' Lauren Mayberry, but something with a bit more imagination behind it might prove more lasting than this particular three-minute pop trifle. [6/10]

John Garratt: Vök's Margrét Rán Magnúsdóttir sounds like about a million other singers out there, but at least the backing tracks to "Erase You" aren't bad. It falls miles short of the Portishead density that they desperately aspire to, but to fault someone for not sounding like their idols is pretty lame unto itself. [6/10]

Jedd Beaudoin: Cool song, reminiscent of the weird pop of the early '80s. Almost a Talk Talk or Trevor Horn vibe at times. It's contemporary when it needs to be, and there's a backbone there, a real strong one. [8/10]

William Nesbitt: Subdued and meditative. The quicker parts get more of my attention. I wouldn't want to hear a whole album of this, but I wouldn't mind hearing another song by them. [6/10]

SCORE: 6.88

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Film

Nazis, Nostalgia, and Critique in Taika Waititi's 'Jojo Rabbit'

Arriving amidst the exhaustion of the past (21st century cultural stagnation), Waititi locates a new potential object for the nostalgic gaze with Jojo Rabbit: unpleasant and traumatic events themselves.

Television

Why I Did Not Watch 'Hamilton' on Disney+

Just as Disney's Frozen appeared to deliver a message of 21st century girl power, Hamilton hypnotizes audiences with its rhyming hymn to American exceptionalism.

Music

LA Popsters Paper Jackets Deliver a Message We Should Embrace (premiere + interview)

Two days before releasing their second album, LA-based pop-rock sextet Paper Jackets present a seemingly prescient music video that finds a way to ease your pain during these hard times.

Books

'Dancing After TEN' Graphic Memoir Will Move You

Art dances with loss in the moving double-memoir by comics artists Vivian Chong and Georgia Webber, Dancing After TEN.

Music

Punk Rock's WiiRMZ Rage at the Dying of the Light on 'Faster Cheaper'

The eight songs on WiiRMZ's Faster Cheaper are like a good sock to the jaw, bone-rattling, and disorienting in their potency.

Music

Chris Stamey Paints in "A Brand-New Shade of Blue" (premiere + interview)

Chris Stamey adds more new songs for the 20th century with his latest album, finished while he was in quarantine. The material comes from an especially prolific 2019. "It's like flying a kite and also being the kite. It's a euphoric time," he says.

Music

Willie Nelson Surveys His World on 'First Rose of Spring'

Country legend Willie Nelson employs his experience on a strong set of songs to take a wide look around him.

Music

Gábor Lázár Is in Something of a Holding Pattern on 'Source'

Experimental electronic artist Gábor Lázár spins his wheels with a new album that's intermittently exciting but often lacking in variety.

Music

Margo Price Is Rumored to Be the New Stevie Nicks

Margo Price was marketed as country rock because of her rural roots. But she was always more rock than country, as one can hear on That's How Rumors Get Started.

Music

DMA'S Discuss Their Dancier New Album 'The Glow'

DMA'S lead-singer, Tommy O'Dell, discusses the band's new album The Glow, and talks about the dancier direction in their latest music.

Music

The Bacon Brothers Deliver Solemn Statement With "Corona Tune" (premiere + interview)

Written and recorded during the 2020 quarantine, "Corona Tune" exemplifies the Bacon Brothers' ability to speak to the gravity of the present moment.

Music

Garage Rockers the Bobby Lees Pay Tribute to "Wendy" (premiere)

The Bobby Lees' "Wendy" is a simmering slice of riot 'n' roll that could have come from the garage or the gutter but brims with punk attitude.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.