After spending a couple of years carving out his sound, Brooklyn-based singer and producer TCVVX is now ready for us to hear it all with his self-titled debut EP. Offering vocals that soar, dive and land somewhere in between Chris Brown, The Weeknd and Frank Ocean (huge compliment), TCVVX permeates the darkest corners of the elastic alt-R&B genre on his introspective debut, leaving no stone unturned.
Perhaps the most striking thing about this tape is how much he manages to do with so little. An ambient, swelling pad serves as the backbone for each track, however – this is about all TCVVX needs; the bulk of the melodic work is executed by his layered approach to vocal arrangement. ‘Into Sleep’, for example, has three vocal lines working in tandem: howls at the top, moans at the bottom – and the ever-present, wraith-like crooning that occurs somewhere in between. TCVVX is a one man oral orchestra.
This is not to say that he eschews instrumentation entirely, however. The opening track, ‘Drowning’, features a gorgeous, hypnotic guitar – the sort a mermaid might use to beguile naïve sailors – but TCVVX doesn’t try to compete with it, instead he bobs and weaves, accentuating the trailing melodies with his honeyed vocals: ‘I’m up and I’m down / It’s like I’m a river’. On the other end of the scale, the leading single, ‘Sucka For Love’, kicks like a mule. TCVVX’s atmospheric cries sound even more at home, and the rather menacing electric piano is accompanied by a drop that will break your fucking speakers.
“Impatient, frustration, tell me when it’s over, we need more truth, we need more change, tell me when its over”
There is a definite story arch to ‘TCVVX’ as well; it depicts a man growing in confidence. The opening tracks are tentative, at times even desperate. However, as the EP unfurls, the production and bravado mirror someone altogether more self-assured. TCVVX illuminates this thought further: ‘A good part of the project was recorded in Montreal. Being back and forth between The States and Canada really influenced the sound – you’ll definitely hear that within the music.’ If this is the case, it seems as though the project starts in Montreal, meanders its way back to New York, and ends up back in Montreal for ‘Days’. ‘Days’ is a beautiful closing track. Backed by decadent piano and sizzling drums, TCVVX offers a triumphant vocal performance – free of the pain and uncertainty heard on tracks like ‘Drowning’.
All in all, TCVVX has given us a sparkling debut project. He is one to watch for sure! Listen to the TCVVX EP below;