Marva Von Theo is an electropop/synthwave duo formed in 2016 by the Athens-based singer/songwriter Marva Voulgari and the Vienna-based composer/producer Theo Foinidis. The duo recently released Dream Within a Dream which is an electronic album brimming with dark textures and pop sensibility that weaves together genres such as trip-hop, soul, pop and more.
The duo make a great combo if for the simple fact they both are on top of their game. Foinidis is obviously a very experienced producer. The sound design is exceptional throughout whether he creates atmospheric pads or hard hitting beats. Foinidis also has the ability to switch it up. Throughout the album and even in the songs themselves Foinidis keeps pushing his skills and is never resting on his laurels.
Voulgari’s presence is just as impressive. She has a dynamic, emotionally charged voice that has range and dimension. She could easily sing a pop song, indie rock song, etc.
The album opens up with “Unconcern.” The music is a drone of dark, ominous textures that is mixed with steady, effective beats. There were some similarities to Portishead in the overall vibe I felt when listening to the song. The vocal delivery is fantastic. Voulgari leans into the darker tendencies of her voice without going overboard. The sweeping strings and off kilter beat towards the end had me anticipating what else was next.
“Secret Lover” would sound perfect at a goth club in the very early hours of the morning while “Reaching the Stars” has an epic, cosmic sound as if you are traveling down a wormhole with catchy vocal melodies.
There are plenty of other songs that got my attention. “Somebody New” is a highlight that mixes infectious rhymes and unique elements with a catchy hook. I also wouldn't miss the ethereal and minimal “Silk.” They close with the high energy “Perfect Sync” which felt like hyper-realistic maneuvers through corridors and alley ways.
Dream Within a Dream needs a lot more attention because this is one of the best albums I have heard this year. Highly recommended.
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