Nat Vazer has just released her album ‘Strange Adrenaline’ and it is a glorious compilation of personal vignettes burnished by Vazer’s diaphanous vocals – velvet and yearning, dripping with melancholy and vivid expressions. It comes as Vazer announces a string of live events supporting the new album.
Vazer says of the album:
Writing this album was like looking inward to find the child inside again, and reaching outward for something beyond me.
There is a thread of innocence throughout – a sense of wonderment touched and undermined by the realities of existence and the vicissitudes of life. There is a discernible Lynchian element to the pictures painted by the sound – distant, sometimes observational, painted in rich, bold colours drenched in a certain poignancy.
Opening track ‘Rumours’ is a beautiful and statuesque track – it is a close and intimate song, painting a rich tapestry of yearning and longing. Vazer’s voice is like a veil of silk drifting in the ether, languorous and delicate, infused with a grace and melancholic air as it drifts across the dappling instrumentation. The cotton wool embrace induces a reverie – a dream like state that is immersive and warm and yet antithetically chilling at the same time. Reverberated guitars and vocals add layers to the enveloping sound – it is a beautiful track that seems like a ghostly apparition.
The haunting delivery reflects the darker themes – Vazer says of the single:
‘Rumours’ paints a picture of recurring trauma. It’s like a creature born in childhood innocence but keeps re-manifesting throughout your life in different ways.
Indeed the tone delivers a mysterious sense of dread – something that is brilliantly portrayed in the video being premiered today, directed and filmed by bassist Benjamin Joel. Rich red velvet colours drench the screen as Vazer and her band perform – a trick of timing renders a slow motion effect with real time singing. The air befits the Lynchian nature of the song. A mysterious mask floats in and out and at times the screen blurs as if we are deep in a nightmare. The haunting mask is a deliberate signifier, as Vazer says:
We thought the mask could represent this idea of trauma – in my head, it’s like a creature born
in childhood innocence but keeps re-manifesting throughout your life in different ways.
I was trying to create a creature that personifies something dark that manifests itself in your life and takes on a life of its own. Something that if you let it can take control, something that feels natural yet alien.
The candle-lit performance, Vazer’s enigmatic presence and the hazy interface seem to create a chemically-induced fugue on screen – almost like those nightmares you have when you’re running fast but cannot move. It’s a brilliant portrayal of the song, capturing a sense of claustrophobia and internal strife – the nightmares we create in our own mind, as we see when the mask finally lifts at the end:
The title track has all the drama and theatricality of something by The National or Phoebe Bridgers with a chorus that glitters in the firmament. Vazer’s vocals are acrobatic, yearning and gliding like a free-wheeling albatross in the sky. It is a pulse quickening and euphoric track – anthemic and moving. The guitar are muscular and provide a contrasting thrum to the silky vocals. It really is a beautiful, enigmatic track.
Strange Adrenaline is like a fast car on a lost highway – forever hungry, forever searching
‘Addicted To Misery’ travels on a percussive heart beat with an acousting shimmer and Vazer’s reflective tone. Again her vocals are extraordinary, with a range more dramatic than the Himalayas that send you into a dream state. Every note bleeds with emotion and passion – a restrained burning fuse. ‘Maniac’ is a beautiful paean to a lover’s devotion – you say that I drive like a mania – but you still get in, you still hold my hand – delivered on a bed of weeping, sweeping strings with an instrumentation that creates an epic cinematic vista – again reminding me of the complexity and majesty of something from The National.
‘2am Diner’ continues with the restrained balladry – the piano serves as a perfect accompaniment to Vazers soft vocals – a torch song that drips with a melancholy late night glow when the last drink has been imbibed and all is left is tristesse and memories. ‘Born’ picks up the pace subtly, over picking acoustic guitars filled with poignancy – you’re just a kid destined for a lonely road – and a mesmerising cotton wool wrapped flow.
‘Like A Burning Violin’ has all the majesty of something from Burt Bacharach sung by Dusty Springfield – floating across the ether with barely a percussive beat but gliding on a haunting piano riff and a gilded horn fringe. The delicate nuanced melody supports a tale of loss and disappointment – are you living the dream or is it like a burning violin?
‘Wilson’s Prom’ is another statuesque anthem – a beautiful melody threads its way through the dappling music and Vazer’s voice as breathtaking as ever. ‘Fading From The Party’ sees Vazer’s yearning vocals take on an air of a Fado, or something from Edith Piaf – drifting in the ether with a free form and roaming structure, plonking piano trickling in the air over gently strumming guitars.
The final track ‘All That’s Left Is Love’ is a posed ballad over sombre piano, deeply personal and very expressive. The soft chorus adds a dream like reverie, bolstered by strings and a pattering percission.
‘Strange Adrenaline’ is a beautiful and thrilling second album from Vazer. It moves from a folk based contemplative base to something brilliant and incandescent at parts – all polished by Vazer’s incredible vocal range that positively shimmers like a mirage in the hot desert. There is a thread of melancholia throughout, serving to heighten the pop sensibilities.
‘Stange Adrenaline’ is out now and available to download and stream through the link above and here.
Vazer will be doing a series of in-house gigs to promote the album – see details below.
Friday 6 October
Melbourne VIC – Rocksteady Records (Full band in-store)
Saturday 7 October
Canberra ACT – Landspeed Records (Duo in-store)
Sunday 8 October
Wollongong NSW – Music Farmers (Full band in-store)
Friday 13 October
Hobart TAS – MONA On The Lawn – 12pm
Friday 13 October
Hobart TAS – Suffragette Records (Duo in-store)
Saturday 21 October
Bendigo VIC – Bendigo Vinyl (Duo in-store)
Saturday 21 October
Bendigo VIC – Handle Bar – 8pm
Sunday 22 October
Melbourne VIC – Record Paradise (Full Band in-store)