On the new Vyva Melinkolya EP, Violet, primary member Alyc Diaz builds massive shoegaze galaxies, employing a type of raw, slowcore ambience that blossoms into sheer walls of sound intent on swallowing the listener. Each of the five songs is impeccably layered, connected by a thread of driving darkness. Diaz achieved all of this by herself, recording every part in her bedroom. And the sound has evolved since the Vyva Melinkolya self-titled debut that was released in 2018.
“I definitely wanted to play with a little bit heavier textures,” Diaz said. “One of my regrets on the self-titled was that there wasn’t enough low end for me. I really wanted this record with the guitar tones to fill out the low end, to feel like there’s more of a hum instead of a whistle. It’s difficult for me to be a minimalist. An empty audio track, to me, is like a canvas. I really am not satisfied unless every corner is filled — appropriately, of course.”
Velvet took two years to complete.
“Yes, it’s is a very long, long time for only five songs,” she said. But, like all of us, Diaz has a life outside of her passions, one which can easily get in the way of things. “There were a lot of reasons this record took so long and not all of them were negative, let’s just say that. I’d rather just say that than list things. And I’m also trying to be more selective about what in my personal life I let out.”
This mysterious nature lends itself well to Diaz’s atmospheric work. There’s a subversive pop element — albeit a very melancholic one — to Violet, but, most importantly, Diaz has curated a collection of haunting songs with a bedrock of emotion.
“The original songs that I’d written for this definitely came from a place that wasn’t positive or productive,” Diaz said. “For example, ‘Ugly IRL,’ it’s a catchy song, it’s relatable, but I don’t really think I want to write a song like that again. In a lot of ways, the feelings expressed with these song was a way to get things out of my system that I don’t want popping up again.”
If you’re familiar with Vyva Melinkolya at all, then Violet will be somewhat familiar — it acts as an extension and progression to the first album. It also makes for a very cohesive listening experience, something Diaz is very proud of.
“I really wanted something that would wake you up — I don’t know, that would shake you in a very pleasant way but I wasn’t really pushing a huge jump sonically with this record,” Diaz said. “But I have a litmus test for whether I know a song is right or not — is if it gives me chills. If I can get chills from a song the way I get chills from someone else’s music, I know I’m doing something right. That can sound a little bit like narcissism but maybe that’s how I work best.” •