Say Psych: Album Review: Vive la Void – Vive la Void

Vive la Void is the solo project of Sanae Yamada, co-founder and keyboard player of Moon Duo. Yamada wrote and recorded the self-titled debut LP over a two-year period, during windows of downtime in Moon Duo’s substantial touring and recording schedule. The album will be released on Sacred Bones Records on 4th May. The seven tracks grew from late-night basement experiments which after considerable mutations and the addition of lyrics became the album we now hear. Sanae said that “the lyrics were a way of reckoning with my own memories and also of trying to process my reactions to the human situation,” Yamada explains. “I wanted the voice to have a kind of ghostly quality, to emerge from and recede back into the song, or to pass over it like weather. It’s one of many layers of sound, which are meant to blend together in such a way that on one listen you might hear one thing, and on another listen you might hear something else, so the music seems to change even as it stays the same.”

Opener ‘Matter’ is a heavily synth based instrumental number which channels experimental electronic vibes alongside a deep groove. ‘Red Rider’ is a different entity all together, with ethereal vocals that haunt and entrance, channelling elements of the New Romantic movement in its composition and overall countenance. It’s stunningly beautiful and will appeal to listeners from a number of genres. ‘Death Money’ is instantly darker, with its greater depth of sound, layered synth elements and which compete for dominance. ‘Smoke’ continues with the darker theme, with minor chords and a riff that will capture and not let go.

‘Blacktop’ again promotes an other-worldly vibe with distant lyrics competing with overpowering synth harmonies and a hypnotic drum machine pattern. ‘Devil’ is the longest track, at just over eight minutes and is mesmerically enticing, with its oscillating patterns and airy vocal progressions which take on new heights when considered in sharp contrast to the synth bursts that they intersperse with. Concluding with ‘Atlantis’, an instrumental entity that features atonal high pitch notes juxtaposed against a background of industrial noise clips, it shows Sanae’s experimental side at its most poignant.

This album offers something a little different, a little fresher in a guitar heavy world. Sanae was always bound to have a loyal fan base after Moon Duo, but it will be unsurprising that with this offering she will attract a whole new set in her own right.



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