Jenn Vix – Unlocked

The last few years offered up some unexpected challenges to Rhode Island’s Jenn Vix. A medical misdiagnosis that almost lead to death would alter anyone’s perspective on life – with Vix this was especially true. The latest EP follows 2015’s Strange Buildings EP and in Vix’s words “This EP is inspired by feelings I had when I became ill…I wanted to explore different sounds, and it felt good to do so. After my illness, it took me a year and a half to be able to even listen to music again. Change is scary, but it can also be refreshing. I recently had to burn a few bridges, but they say that the brightest light can come from the bridges you burn. I agree.” The EP once again features a host of ridiculously talented collaborates including John Ashton of The Psychedelic Furs & Satellite Paradiso, Frank Coleman of Satellite Paradiso, and Danny Chavis of The Veldt who provides an outstanding remix. What’s the result? Jenn Vix is a standout among a cast of standouts who has delivered a masterfully executed EP that is breathtaking.

 

Alive Again kicks off the EP with spiky post punk guitar and vocals that balance the line between rage & beauty. Happiness never sounded so good. “I feel alive today / Something good is taking me over / I feel joy again / I feel a power surging in me”. Complicated Man is the single and I can see why – it is a catchy post modern gem that is lyrically focused on covert and destructive relationships. It never comes off as bitter though you’d be forgiven for thinking that while singing along with words like “He’s a complicated man with an agenda / He knows all the right things to say”. Vix’s vocals sell the tune completely, a compelling mix of Siouxsie and Nico. The track is appears in remixed form by Danny Chavis and it creates an even more haunting atmosphere. Both versions are spectacular. Unlocked closes the EP and features John Ashton on guitar. It is simply stunning – the band locks into a groove, the bass creating a hypnotic groove while Ashton creates a holy squall of white noise & Jenn Vix sings her heart out. That’s Paul LF on bass and Frank Coleman on drums by the way. I wouldn’t mind hearing a full length from that core group. Perfect.

You can pick up the album from Jenn Vix’s bandcamp. You can also follow her on Facebook to keep up with the latest news. A classic mini album, one that I will surely return to many times. Recommended.

Verdict: dark gem

For Fans of: The Psychedelic Furs, Nico, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Slits

Tracks:

  1. Alive Again
  2. Complicated Man
  3. Nerve
  4. Complicated Man (Into The Veldt mix)
  5. Unlocked
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Jenn Vix – Strange Buildings

Jenn Vix

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to talk with John Ashton, formerly of The Psychedelic Furs about his new project, Satellite Paradiso. The band’s debut album showed Mr. Ashton & company moving on from the shadow of the ‘Furs, forging their own unique identity. It rates as one of my favorite albums of the last year or so. When I got wind that John Ashton featured on two tracks on Jen Vix’s new EP, Strange Buildings, I knew I had to give it a spin. Jenn Vix hails from Providence, Rhode Island and has forged an independent path whilst working with such luminaries as Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie, The Cure, Jeffrey Gaines), and Andy Anderson (The Cure). Her latest EP just might be her finest work to date, Ashton’s guitar work providing a complimentary element to Vix’s soulful vocal delivery.

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Satellite Paradiso – self titled

Satellite Paradiso

I 1st became aware of the Psychedelic Furs early in my youth as MTV played the hit single Love My Way – it might have been on 120 minutes or even during the regularly scheduled videos of the day, my memory is hazy. I was instantly hooked and began collecting every tape I could find by the band (I hear tapes are making a comeback these days). Along with the 1st Live record and the Pixies, the ‘Furs were my gateway to what they called “alternative music” back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Although I had 1st heard mid period ‘Furs with their eerie synths and otherworldly vocals, I gravitated towards the earlier records that had edgier guitar work.

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