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



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