Here is, at last, the long-awaited new full-length album “Afterglow” by Athens-based synthwave duo Marva Von Theo, (on vinyl, CD, and digital via the Brazilian independent label Waves Records), and it is all a splendid work at every level. MVT was a bit silent after the release of their debut album “Dream Within A Dream” in 2018. That album was well received by the dedicated media and the radio stations and with only a few live performances but a fabulous opening for Hooverphonic (Athens, 2019).
MVT plays straight-up synthwave music built with the most direct emotions. They are electronic-oriented music, they love electro-pop, they love synth-pop, and they make this highly addictive art-pop music we all need in the cities of the world. Αs ‘city kids’ they are caught up in all events of urban life. Some of it makes them feel soft and sweet, while other things make them feel at least uneasy, angry, melancholic, and sad; the urban air is never pure and this is what they sing for.
Making big savings since 2018, they’ve managed to fund 3 official videos for the album. The first one to appear was for “Embrace This Madness” (Dec. 2019) as the first single of the album. A seemingly cyber ballad with sharp as shark tooth lyrics deifying an urban horror. A very sweet and melodic dark chant to “Embrace this madness/ Drink this moment till the last drop…”
In June 2020 they presented another official video this time for “Ruins”, a perfectionist avant-pop electronic song in the likes of similar artists to Tori Amos’ first groundbreaking period. It is a nice pop song where they did artistically everything to transform its original idea into something else and deeper, and they succeeded!
The third one was for “Love” (Jan 2021) which is the opener of the album. In my opinion, this one is their ultimate showcase song as it includes all things MVT; their sweetness, and their dark, together with perfection in all aspects and again, these lyrics…“I hear the desert mourn ‘Bury it deep and seal your fire’…..yes, they write anthemic alternative electronic pop music with glorious moments and so good and useful precision.
There’s no question anymore I think about their writing and their output skills. They need things to be clear and precise, after all, both Marva Voulgari and Theo Foinidis are professional musicians and that’s quite obvious now. They are two classically trained musicians, driven by their experimental nature and passion to indulge in diverse genres of music. Marva is a classical pianist and has a background in jazz singing while Theo, apart from being a classical and jazz pianist, is a Contemporary and Electroacoustic Composer, having graduated from the University of Music and Applied Arts in Vienna, and has written several pieces for orchestra and music ensembles.
The whole “Afterglow” LP is a collection of 11 songs about love and loss, sorrow, hope, daydream, and the determination to live, all these shimmers upon MVT‘s deep and poetic lyrics, which constitute the core of this album. The core of “Afterglow” can be described in other words as an unconventional space that flows vigorously between Electronica, Art Pop, Dark Pop, Neo-Synthpop, Darkwave, Contemporary, and Jazz. You should also check “Dissolve”, and “Somewhere Safe” to see them actually dancing to their own brilliant synthwave-EBM sonic-crafts. The new album is sensibly better than their debut in 2018. More mature, wilder, darker, with more new paths in their explorations given in a pure and fearless way at the final structure. Warm applause from me!!!
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Written by Loud Cities’ Mike