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MARVA VON THEO ---  AFTERGLOW  ALBUM REVIEW

Maxx Silver asks, why isn't Marva Von Theo world famous already?

With an album like this, they really should be....


Female  Vocalists.  They really inhabit some of my favourite  music.   Everywhere from
Goldfrapp at the time of "Felt Mountain" to Lisa Gerrard  of Dead Can Dance and  Ladytron
who continue to inspire from the time I found  "Witching Hour"

This year,  via Synth City with Rob Harvey I discovered the Greek/ Austrian  duo Marva Von Theo,
Marva Voulgari & Theo Foinidis.  They, arguably, combine elements of all  these bands plus their
own unique identity.   And I have to tell you I  melted with the voice of Marva.  I'm sure in ancient times,
men were  turned to dust at the power of  a siren.  Marva doesn't want to do that to you, but that voice!
It  commands you to listen.   Glissandos, yelps, warm purrs, angelic choirs  appear as well as the more precise,
controlled power.   The  range of sounds she produces is something other vocalists would so love  to have.   
I tried to yelp in a song once, it sounded like a kitten  trying to meow.  I know my place...

And  that is not to say the music behind it  isn't superb,  as it is.  Her  musical partner,  Theo Foinidis
puts together beautiful soundscapes and lyrics whichpour onto the listener like waves upon the shore.
He also eschews obvious choices.  There are no synthy cliches here, the music  is original and sometimes bold.   
There is a feeling of accessible  experimentation.  Views on life that don;t appear  in cuddly pop songs

The album opens with Love.  Such a beautiful, melodic, spine chilling  song ,   "Love" is the "Utopia" or
"Witching Hour"  of this album.

It was the best song and most inspiring track I had heard in years.  But I had also heard "Ruins"  and its  
denouement of multiple  Marvas singing " The ruins of your wasted life"  seems to chime rather  too much
with me.   I could never, ever get tired of these two songs.  

"Forever" is a shorter pop song, though there are surprises there too,  the lovely harmonies  as Marva sings
about clouds.

"Embrace  The Madness"  has the style of an updated sixties torchsong ballad with its  backwards string,
"Dreams never last for long"  If you cannot be affected by the poignant mood and the thoughful lyrics then
you might have lost your heart, somewhere along the way.

"Older" is a synth ballad which talks about age producing the feeling of getting "sadder and sadder"   

"Room of Doubt" has the feel of being scared of something, unsettling horror movie style feeling which
morphs  into metallic drum and bass at the end. The  vocal acrobatics are sure  to stop you from doing
anything else.  Its a "moment"...

The feel of this reminds me of Andreas Wollenweiders "Mantos Arrow and the Sphinx"

"Dissolve",   the latest single is more planted on the dancefloor. A dancefloor   initially near the Pyramids which
migrates to a melodic European  electronic chorus.  Many musicians could not pull off the changes of  mood
of this duo, it makes for an album that constantly entertains  with its shifting sands.

"Somewhere Safe"  shows musical and vocal range, from purrs and gentle breath to distorted crys of agony.

"Bittersweet  Sunday" is a little slow for my tastes but beautifully sung.  I love  the progression of "Forgotten"
with different synth textures  sewn together like a patchwork quilt.  This works well in giving the  song its
beautiful identity with Marva going into angelic angel voice at the end.

Marva could easily try some Lisa Gerrard style echolalia, dress up as a Greek Goddess and thunder along the shore
with strings and unicorns.    The world should be their oyster.  Let us hope the world does wake upto them,.

With a nomination for the prestigious HEMI awards, we can but hope their incredible talent will be recognised.

A brilliant and recommended album.  9/10
New Album "In Recovery" released 21/02/21
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