The Steady State theory is a somewhat outdated theory about the nature of the universe, stating that the universe always has been, is, and forever will be, and that no beginning exists, nor does an end. To forever be floating in an eternal universe of music is like what Vacabou’s debut album, Vacabou, seems like. Vacabou’s ethereal electronic sound makes it seem like there was no start to the album, and no end, but just is, providing a warm blanket of security wrapped in sense of permanence.
To learn about Vacabou’s history is haunting in itself, as information about them seems scarce. It is as if they themselves had no start, and if theory holds, will have no end. After listening to the album, it is almost painful to think about an end to the Vacabou because the duo has something that is rarely heard. Jean Feliu’s instrumentation and mixing in intangibly airy melodies, coupled with Pascale Saravelli’s vocals, creates a soft lullaby that will soothe and tuck anyone under the covers. Vacabou has grasped technique of entertaining, but not blinding the senses.
Though the self-titled album contains many noteworthy songs, “Life as Interference” stands out among the rest. The song starts off with the sounds of a crackly radio, but the atmospheric backdrop still makes the song accessible, yet almost incomprehensible. It then moves into a highly poppy electronic beat, reminiscent of the winding patterned path of a curl of hair. It slowly graduates into a guitar rhythm placed perfectly to compliment every other sound, whether it be vocals, background percussion, violins, or the good ol’ syntheziser. This song exemplifies the sound of most of the album—graceful, dense and expansive. One exception to this rule is the track “Blue Glass Highway,” which, unlike most of the other tracks, starts out with traditional folk accompaniment, a guitar, and vocals, and then seamlessly morphs into electronica, but still retains the same mood of the rest of the album.
Vacabou is definitely an album that may take some getting used to, as it branches away from a high energy approach to grab the listener’s attention, but rather seduces with a soft and supple symphony. Vacabou is a siren song that never lets go of the ears of those who have been lulled into its placid trance.
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