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Oceanlux – Versa Vice

EP Rating: 8.5 – Dreamy intimate pop with grand-sized beats.

Photo: Courtesy of Independent Music Promotions

Oceanlux is an indie pop duo comprised of vocalist Dais Draper and multi-instrumentalist Brandon Weaver who formed in Indiana. Using dreamy and hooky pop elements, Oceanlux explore themes such as sex, breakups, and self-saboteurism. Their debut EP, Versa Vice, was released on August 11th.

With all the trimmings of hit-level synthpop, Oceanlux utilizes grand-sized beats that stretch your mind to a dreamy trance in Versa Vice. The vocals of Daisy Draper, who sounds like a crossover between Ellie Goulding and Halsey, takes us into the sharp sides of love to fighting inner demons. There is something hypnotically pristine in her voice that makes these songs more exquisite. She sounds flawless yet the themes she explores lacerates the images of perfection and embraces the vulnerability of the heart.

In the opener, “Madness”, the multi-instrumentalist Brandon Weavers immediately encapsulates us with an even-keeled pulsing production that raises our adrenaline. Draper’s words naturally blend with the rhythm and become distorted with the processed beats, yielding an almost a sci-fi effect. “Madness” takes you at the precipice of the catharsis, but never goes forward or backward. And that’s what makes it a treat – Weavers toys your adrenalines by keeping you in that state, making you feel invigorated from beginning to end.

“Typical” backs down melodically and lets Draper’s voice sooth you to a dreamy chill mode. It may be the track with the most unimpressive beginning, but Draper’s vocal prowess and rising beats quickly atone for it as you continue listening. In “Demon”, we jump into a theatrical, dark pop arena where battling inner demons is met with an army of dense atmospheric layers. “We all have demons in disguise that haunts our dreams” chants Draper. In “Demon,” Draper’s vocals are processed with a subtle eeriness that makes it a hauntingly enchanting piece.

Even in love songs, Oceanlux adds their own twist that gives an extra dimension for its listeners. “Raw Love” does not only portray the emotional highness, but the vulnerability that comes with it. Infusing dance-inducing thumps with airy ambiance, “Raw Love” takes you swirling with echoing memories initially before Oceanlux takes us jettisoning to a celestial melody. The heart-racing ohhhs of Draper around 3:10 feels like a

In “Bruises” Weavers starts off with dripping beats before he starts showering us with electrifying thumps that are goosebumps-raising. The exiting track explores a relationship with someone who turns out to be double-faced and takes us from idealizing them to unmasking their dark side. From being madly obsessed to discovering a demon, Versa Vice takes us to the extreme ends of the heart while constantly keeping us afloat in a dreamy popsphere.

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