Say Psych: Album Review: New Candys – Vyvyd

The Breakdown

A new New Candys LP is long overdue, but no one quite expected this. It’s clear that despite the hectic touring schedule pre-covid times, this is a work long in the making and its quality shines for all to hear.

Known for their relentless touring schedule and DIY work ethic, New Candys are one of the most solid independent bands of recent years and they are back with their forth LP Vyvyd.

Vyvyd follows up on the widely acclaimed third album Bleeding Magenta which saw them tour non-stop across Europe, United Kingdom, North America and Australia. This album, which will be their fourth, is the first record made by the line-up of Fernando Nuti, Andrea Volpato, Alessandro Boschiero and Dario Lucchesi. It was recorded at Fox Studio in Venice, Italy by Andrea Volpato and mixed and mastered by Grammy Award producers Tommaso Colliva (Calibro 35, The Jesus And Mary Chain) and Giovanni Versari respectively. The record will be available through Little Cloud Records and Dischi Sotterranei, plus an exclusive vinyl edition via Fuzz Club which has already sold out.

Talking about the album, Nuti explains “I started to sketch some songs for the record during a very tumultuous period for the band, with many line-up changes between the end of 2017 until mid-2018, but as soon as the new line-up formed, the excitement to create new music together was overwhelming and helped the creative process immensely.” The record was written and recorded in different sessions, fragmented over two years from 2018 to 2020, in between tours. Continuing he says that “There was an urgency for us to evolve, to find a new chemistry and to convert it into something creatively fulfilling, something that could surprise us. The aim was to expand our sound into new territories, everyone in the band brought new ideas and influences to the table. We dived deeply into digital recording techniques, embracing them, using loops, real and virtual synths and drum machines, balancing them with the dirty analog sound the band always had”.

The album’s visual and lyrical themes are carefully crafted with both hidden and subliminal messages. “Of course we’re influenced by our own personal lives and the world around us, but we have always considered our music to be devoted and connected to visions and images, inspired by dreams and nightmares rather than reality, so ‘Vyvyd’ is a reference to this aspect. Vivid memories, vivid colours, sonically speaking our ideas and goals are clearer than ever”. The artwork goes hand in hand with the music and the lyrics “This record has its own mythology. We played with religious, pagan and archetypal symbols, which have been distorted through our lens. If we had to sum up the album in one concept it would be the contradiction of light: God/good is often represented with a bright glow, whilst Lucifer, the personification of evil, means light-bearer. We’ve been inspired by the visionary cinema of Kenneth Anger and Alejandro Jodorowsky among others”.

Opening with ‘Twin Mime’, it takes the New Candys sound back to their earlier days, with a darkness permeating from the offset. It is a welcome return for one of psychs most popular bands and is a tantalising taste of new tracks we’ve waited a long time for. Continuing with ‘Zyko’, a driving beat dominates with organised electronic noise chaos permeating in between the hazy vocal delays. ‘Factice’ changes track somewhat, with its slower tempo and dreamy countenance it allows the listener to catch their breath after the intensity of the first two tracks. As it progresses it channels hints of early Dandy Warhols and The Warlocks vibes, an influence that many are likely to appreciate. ‘Begin Again’ is everything we have come to know and love from New Candys; a haunting guitar riff that lingers long after it has passed, heartfelt vocals and a probing bass. ‘Evil Evil’ is a different entity altogether, with a heavy electronic presence, it’s the one that you can imagine live really gets bodies moving.

‘Vyvyan Rising’ is the standout track for me, with a motorik beat and a repeated, minor guitar riff creating a hypnotic and slightly ominous effect from start to finish. ‘Helluva Zoo’ features, interestingly, an acoustic guitar sound but don’t let that fool you, as there is plenty jammed in here that packs a punch. ‘The Clockmaker’ captivates with its complex layers and provocative lyrics which strike right at the heart whilst ‘Q&K’ explores sound delicately, creating something distinctly them and strikingly different at the same time; it also features ethereal vocals from MØAA to add a different edge. Concluding with the cleverly named ‘Snake Eat Snake’ (also known as the ouroboros, a common symbol for eternal life), the album skirts back to where it started, and the cycle renews. Do yourself a favour and start it all over again, you’ll appreciate it more second time through.

A new New Candys LP is long overdue, but no one quite expected this. It’s clear that despite the hectic touring schedule pre-covid times, this is a work long in the making and its quality shines for all to hear. But a polite request, please don’t make us wait as long again for another!

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