Review Summary: My name is Vyva Melinkolya“I’m just staring at my shoes.”
Vyva Melinkolya is a solo project from Kentucky. It’s to say that ‘Vyva Melinkolya’ isn’t the artist’s actual name, but rather a trans-female named Alyc Diaz. Vyva Melinkolya’s self-titled album is a musical expression made to tell the autobiography of a Russian female, a story of love and its downward spiral. “Love’s Easy Years” is pleasant opening, a track that shows a doubtful yet hopeful feeling for the future of Vyva’s romantic life, then everything went south immediately, only the unpleasant events are left for Vyva.
In this album, Vyva isn’t just singing; she is also directly confessing her experiences in life. Although the vocals here are usually subtle and intentionally washed-up, it doesn’t stop Vyva Melinkolya from chronicling her story through this record’s atmosphere and densely layered wall of sound; the album can be boiled down into the subtly repetitive and hypnotic drums, followed by the buzzing, distorted guitars that evokes a subdued atmosphere. Although this record may seem homogeneous upon a first listen, there are more subtle details to unravel upon further analysis.
The main characteristic of this album is its progression, whereas the listening experience is much like the process of painting. It begins with vague, unclear dash of colors that slowly transform into a clear picture while the details are adding up, finally revealing a beautiful piece of art. Tracks like “Between” and “Eclipsing” are the major highlight, as they drone on, reaching a memorable climax of crashing pedal effects, but that doesn't keep the other tracks from being noteworthy; “Exist” is the special case. It’s a track that features a lone guitar passage with a minimalist synth effects to elude the essence of emptiness and it’s exemplified by the feeling of weary from Vyva’s whispery singing.
What differs Vyva Melinkolya
from its contemporary shoegaze albums is its personality. More often than not, a shoegaze/dream pop record can sound pleasant yet soulless and dull, without much returning value in it. And unlike this self-titled album, the imagery of Vyva’s life that embedded so closely to its sound is what will its listener back. It’s a symbiosis mutualism to the subtlety of this record, something that takes time to grow. Let the life of Vyva Melinkolya grow on you.