Vitesse – You Win Again Gravity

Vitesse
You Win Again Gravity

Vitesse is the duo of Joshua Klein and Hewson Chen, and this is the band’s fourth full-length release. The duo cooks up many different grooves and harmonies with the slight instrumentation of mostly synth and guitar. Chen has a rather deep, throaty voice very similar to that of Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields. Much of this music brings back memories of many 80s electro-dance/pop bands like Orchestral Manoeuvres in the dark and New Order and many others along those lines.
“Just for a Night” follows the leadoff instrumental with a humming concoction of various keyboard parts and a propulsive rhythm. The song gently sways along as the vocals drift past creating a wonderful dreamy feeling. This kind of atmosphere continues with “Hunch,” which has more of a bounce to it. Both songs have some unique grooves that are incredibly beautiful, but combined with the disenchanted vocals they become a little darker.
One of the highlights here is “Another Way” with its chiming keyboard and rather mechanic programmed drumming creating a wonderful backing. The vocals here have a calming ability, sounding like Calvin Johnson has joined the group for a one-time occasion. “Not Forever” sounds very much like it would fit in perfectly with any of Stephin Merritt’s mighty songbook as it is driven on keys and peppered with slight guitar accompaniment. It’s very eerie how close this sounds to a Magnetic Fields tune, and I mean this as a complement.
Throughout the entire record, Chen and Klein create many different variations of their sound while using basic instruments like keys and guitar. These guys fit in perfectly with the likes of Magnetic Fields, OMD, and many of the bands who are influenced or contemporaries of such groups. The band pays much respect to the past and their own influences but never fails to make these songs clearly their own. Many of these songs just flow into one another without difficulty, creating a disc that is easy to listen to as a whole in one sitting.
Chen and Klein have crafted an extremely beautiful and captivating slice of electro-pop. They show they have many tricks up their sleeves to distinguish them from the pack of others venturing in this style. These songs just seem so effortless, which is obviously not the case as the intricate melodies prove. Though the influences are rather obvious, the duo is able to put their own spin on things. This is a really nice piece of work and one that can be enjoyed by any reasonable music fan.