VV or Vanessa Brown, previously known on stage as VV Brown is a jazz trained British musician who up till now has created mediocre indie pop sounds. However her new release Glitch takes us in a whole new direction with an avant-garde pop mixed with dance-punk vibe. VV has developed and refined her sound, almost reinventing herself since the singer we knew back in 2009.
Still rocking her trademark, edgy fringe, VV captivates listeners in Glitch with how she moves through hiphop vibes in Instincts, passionate emotional vocals in Money Sex Power and choral noises in Bells. The album flows beautifully, yet each track is also very much a worthy single. VV Brown is a creative force, forever changing our perceptions of what we know of her.
A strong, independent woman, succeeding with high grades throughout school and offered a place at Oxford to read Law, Vanessa left behind her academic lifestyle to pursue her passion to create music. She hasn’t always had the easiest journey in the industry, often struggling to make a positive name for herself but her passion for her work comes through clearly in the songs she’s produced. The lyrics of Shift; “Shift perception, this is what we’re fighting for” elicit the struggle VV has endured.
The record starts in an eerily haunting manner, with a short track of percussion instruments and choral singers. Lazarus then takes the album to a more upbeat level with a strong beat underlying synthesised fractured lyrics talking of reckless living. This is juxtaposed with passages of subdued and gentle singing.
Throughout the album VV is constantly mixing two styles together; often with one more contemporary and one more traditional; drawing on their parallels to create sounds which blend smoothly and creatively into one another. She has done this both within each individual track but also within the album as a whole (comparing the punchy techno rhythm in Shift and the 80’s style synthesis in Violet.) The idea of integrating strong electro beats with techno opera is an exciting one, especially when executed with quite the precision VV has. You can definitely see why she named the album Glitch; mingling disparate styles and genres so they cross paths in an amalgamation of sounds which are both interesting and engaging, VV Brown has created her own ‘glitches’ in the music industry that we think are fantastic, even if she still isn’t yet confident in herself. On Will You Wait, a beautiful soft ballad that draws the album to a close VV says: “I cry every time I hear that song… will I be the person I always dreamed I would be?”
It is evident VV has built on top of her previous work of Travelling Like The Light and Samson & Delilah to create music that is much more elegant and also fantastic to dance to. Glitch is a fun album of high quality electronic sounds that’s creatively sophisticated. She’s come a long way since her days of writing songs for The Pussycat Dolls and modelling for Marks & Spencer.
By Martha Wright