Formed in Melbourne, Australia, the electronica group Audrey Vixen consists of former producers Trent Saunders and Laura Hamilton. This band seeks to create elaborate soundscapes that focus on the deep end of electronic ambient and take the genre to greater depths than many have before them. Their latest EP, Butterfly Lullaby, is the fourth release from the duo from down under.This is a skillfully crafted EP with a wintry moodiness you can almost feel with all five senses. Amongst the light and bliss, there is a deceptively dark side as well, present in the form of a distinct, almost constant progressive bassline which has given the band their unique edge and helped them to gather a small but devout cult following, both in their home country and across the world.
In the opening track, "About to Burn," vocalist Jade May croons with repetitive ethereality and sets the tone for the remaining five tracks, all of which contain unparalleled vibrancy and emotional depth. With the help of social media's influence, Audrey Vixen's original music as well as many unofficial, fan-made remixes of mainstream pop songs, has caught the attention of various labels. Remixes of their delicate but dark melodies have been released by labels including Nuform Music, Addictive Vibe Records, and their own imprint, Charlotte Sinner. With a background in production, both members of the band used their own skills to mix and master the EP at home in Melbourne.
On many tracks, the band relies on carefully selected female guest vocalists, who each helped to write their own lyrics, and whose lush, ghostly vocal styles wonderfully complement the atmosphere. "Then We Collide" is an especially creepy track featuring a haunting vocal addition by Tara Nielson which echoes as though in a cathedral, lifts, rises, and eventually fades sorrowfully and quietly to be replaced by a barely audible voice recording which ends the song.Jamie Slater contributes lyrics to "Back Against the Wall," which is definitely the track on the album most likely to reach a mainstream audience. Poignant, painful, and utterly heartfelt, Slater does not simply gently supplement the instrumentals in the background, as vocalists do on other tracks; her voice overpowers the entire song, breathing new life into Audrey Vixen's vision, and illuminating their brooding, introspective musical backdrop. The EP ends on a strange, uncertain note, with the subtle ballad "Home." All in all, there is an equal sense of decay and rebirth. If these six tracks are indicative of what is next for Audrey Vixen, their upcoming full-length album The Punished Heroes will contain melodies that are equally anthemic and emotionally provocative.
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