UV-TV – ” Back to Nowhere “

Posted: May 16, 2021 in MUSIC
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UV-TV formed in 2015 when songwriters Rose Vastola and Ian Bernacett were living in Gainesville, Florida. In their earliest days, the band started out making raw, speedy punk songs with the edges softened out by bright melodic sensibilities and faint hints of jangle hiding just beneath the surface.

It’s Always Something with New York City-via-Gainesville trio UV-TV, who are gearing up to release their third album their first entirely written and recorded since their NYC exodus—on May 28th via PaperCup Music. Written and recorded under lockdown in early 2020, the follow-up to their 2017 debut Glass and 2019 second effort Happy promises post-punk angularity, new-wave sheen and jangle-pop hooks, if singles “Distant Lullaby” and this week’s “Back to Nowhere” are any indication.

You’d expect “Back to Nowhere” to find the band overwhelmed and on edge, but instead, they sound more clear-eyed than ever, with songwriters Ian Bernacett and Rose Vastola (now joined by drummer Ian Rose as a full-time member) intertwining their vocals and guitars with slick precision; meanwhile, Rose’s drums and tambourine keep the energy high. The track feels like a modern-day take on The Cult’s “She Sells Sanctuary,” a fitting kinship, given UV-TV’s drive to find peace in a chaotic world on Always Something.

With third album “Always Something”, UV-TV reach a new plateau, with some of the most intentionally crafted and cleanly rendered songs they’ve delivered so far. The first album to be completely written and recorded since the band’s relocation to New York, and the first since new drummer Ian Rose joined on, Always Something was written and recorded during the intense isolation of early 2020. Day jobs were paused indefinitely and the distractions of everyday life ground to a half, allowing for complete focus on the creative process. While demoing the new material, Vastola and Bernacett pushed their lyrical content to more thoughtful, deliberate places while loosening the grip on their arrangement choices, striking a new balance between control and spontaneity.

Musically, the nine songs that make up Always Something are a continuation of the sonic identity UV-TV established on earlier albums, with straightforward pop songs ornamented by surreptitiously complex dual guitar work, but there’s a newfound clarity in both the production and the songs themselves. “Distant Lullaby” charges out of the gates with warped guitar hooks that bring to mind pre-Loveless MBV, but instead of drowning the song in predictable shoegazey murk, the instrumentation is bold and the vocals sit confidently at the top of the mix. Where the lyrics on earlier albums were sometimes cloaked in vagueness, the sentiments here are overt and uncluttered. None of this is to say the band has taken a turn toward sterile blandness by any means. The title track weaves together as many different anxieties as it does beautifully overdriven countermelodies, and album centrepiece “Plume” builds slowly from reverb-doused percussion and gentle verses into a roaring wall of gloriously cathartic noise. All of this new growth is anchored by deft but understated guitar work, with some of the band’s strongest material threaded together by guitar parts that range from soft and textural to jaggedly intricate.

Back to Nowhere · UV-TV · Rose Vastola · Ian Bernacett Back to Nowhere PaperCup Music Released on: 2021-04-20

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