Jonathan Vance

Sylvia the Eagle

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After completing his tour of duty with emo band Moss Icon in the late '90s, singer Jonathan Vance was quiet for several years before resurfacing with this EP on the Run Roc label. Sylvia the Eagle, while an electronic dance music release, retains an almost punkish rock aesthetic, especially on its title track. Vance's voice is all declamatory recitation, as if from incantations more than songs, while a menacing air courses throughout the record. "Umbrella" in particular carries a sinister, almost confrontational groove, Vance's slam-poetic delivery predicting imminent doom and fluttering sound effects nearly fulfilling it. Just shy of the alienating levels of hardcore techno, Sylvia the Eagle is a technically adept album with messages challenging to the point of inscrutability. Its two closing remixes bring a sharper dance element to Vance's angry vision and suggest an intriguing possible direction for future recordings.

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