Bands take many circuitous routes through their musical journey. Some are overnight sensations; they write an inspired track propelling them to notoriety, land in the right place at the right time, or else occupy a gap that music listeners, knowingly or otherwise, clamored to hear filled. Others are talented units who, for a variety of reasons, never find commercial traction and fade into obscurity. In the case of Liverpool, UK based band The Vow, they took a stab at finding success in popular music during the late 1980’s-early 1990’s without striking gold, but fate brought them back together again at the end of the 21st century’s first decade. 2011’s EP Spacedust returned the band to the fray with some lineup similarities from their first iteration and stylistic differences from that initial incarnation. Their latest single “Julia” is an excellent example of their new direction and its distinguished by its melodic gifts and sparkling intelligence.
I enjoy Trust’s voice a great deal. His vocals possess an inviting, open-armed sound creating near instant intimacy for listeners – no small feat when considering the inspiration behind the song’s lyric. He does a first rate job as a writer depicting one man’s struggle to retain humanity in a depersonalized world and the song’s imagery is on point without a single extraneous word marring the content. Trust’s phrasing creates a dialogue with listeners. You place your faith in him immediately. He coaxes words out without any pretension and the emotional honesty of his performance is something you will never call into question.
The production is five star throughout. Despite the band’s obvious indie status, it is clear they spared no expense to create a polished presentation for listeners reflective of the composition’s best qualities and framing their talents in the best possible light. Everything is balanced; no one element is highlighted at the expense of others. The guitars and drums do assume a level of dominance in the mix, but this is customary for the style and never threatens to overwhelm other aspects of the performance.
Martyn Gilbert’s lead guitar is a musical highlight. For Gilbert and Trust to resuscitate a long dormant musical relationship following many years apart testifies to the innate chemistry these musicians and individuals have always shared. This duo and drummer Tony Potter remain the bedrock upon which The Vow builds their musical case. There’s a definite Englishness inherent in the performance and the sound with whiffs of their 1980’s origins wafting throughout the performance, but it nonetheless strikes a thoroughly modern note and never sounds like a butterfly pinned under glass.
The Vow do many things with this track but one thing leaps out above all others – they prove destiny laughs at the best laid plans of mice and men alike. I doubt Trust or Gilbert ever envisioned a day when their long ago band would trod the boards once again and make headway as an active songwriting and recording unit. If nothing else did, “Julia” would show that their decision to heed the call of their respective Muses is far from ill-advised.
The music of THE VOW has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Records. Learn more – musikandfilm.com