ALBUM PREMIERE: Syvia “FWD”

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Brooklyn-based Electropop project, Syvia, is releasing a stunning debut full length album titled FWD, that seamlessly weaves together darker Nordic rock traditions with airy east coast dance vibes. While the band is a traditional four-piece, comprised of Norwegian-American vocalist Ruth Mirsky, Frank Banisi (guitar), Sheldon Chow (bass/synth) and Richard Moyle Jr. (drums), and while the music they produce possesses classic rock underpinnings, there are also darker, more insidious elements to each track that are at once obvious and indelible. Perhaps it’s Mirsky’s gritty vocals – reminiscent of 80s goth rock darling Siouxie Sioux – anchored by edgy synth beats, that make songs such as the opener “Soon”, evocative of the distinct feeling one gets when racing down a highway in a speeding car. “Dawn On The Dancefloor” takes on a dreamier electro structure, with drum tracks that float above the vocals, sinister melody lines and Mirsky’s breathy request to “step away and put some space between us…then come close”, compelling us into the darker aspects of her psyche as well as the music at large. Other stand-outs on the album include  “Up Up And Away”, which incorporates tinges of 90s-inspired alt-rock, making for a delightful nostalgia-inspiring throwback gem, and my personal favorite, “Hearts Down”, which feels stripped and confessional compared to some of the more intricate compositions throughout the 8 tracks. Mirsky’s vocals are softer and honest, without sounding vulnerable in the least – a difficult feat for any female vocalist to achieve. The melodies are straightforward yet never boring largely thanks to the music’s interplay between major and minor cadences. While the lyrics speak about heartbreak (“my heart’s down for the count”, she professes), we still get the sense that she’s okay, if not a tad jaded by the experience – sad, but prepared to move forward. Speaking of which, the last and title track, “Fwd Fwd”, is perhaps the grandest of those comprising this album, with anthemic kick drums and orchestral-esque synth melodies. The first half  feels a bit slow moving, as Mirsky comments on the inexorable march of time, but shifts into a higher gear midway through with the addition of an infectious snare drum line before slowly fading out, as if we’re all driving off into the sunset together.

Sonically diverse and showcasing of a wide array of musical talent, FWD is surely a glimpse of what’s to come from Syvia. You can listen to the full album, streaming now on Audiofemme below, or catch them at their album release show on 3/15 at the Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn.

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