Premiere: The Dreamy Intimacy of Vylet’s Lovestruck “Lightning”

Vylet © 2017
Vylet © 2017

Nothing could ruin me like ruminating

There’s nothing more powerful than the strength of long-lasting love. We engulf ourselves in the romantic antics of passionate love, but it’s when that fire evolves into something more that love truly burns brightest. When someone knows you better than you know yourself – when they are your anchor, your cure, your everything – that is the true depth and beauty of a lasting intimacy. Vylet’s new song “Lightning” dives into the deep end of love.

How are you living?
I can’t see that far
Nothing could move me
for more than a day
At curtain call
waiting to be flayed
Listen: “Lightning” – Vylet
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Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Lightning,” the second single from Los Angeles-based indie pop artist Vylet. In August, Vylet introduced herself through the youthful frustration of “Why,” a coming-of-age existential crisis that mixed internal uncertainty with external anxiety. Shrouded under the dark veil of a mysterious synth-driven blend of sounds entitled baroque bedroom pop, Vylet waxed nostalgic, immersing herself in blurry, vivid emotions.

You’re all talk
Taking my hand to say
That’s who I am too
That’s who I am too
Tongue-in-cheek, shower scenes
Taking my hand to say
Lightning - Vylet
Lightning – Vylet

Coming nearly nine months later, “Lightning” finds Vylet already maturing her sound, honing in on the defining aspects of her blossoming artistry while evolving others. The song is lighter than her debut; fewer layered instruments results in each instrument coming through clearly, giving listeners a chance to truly pick apart Vylet’s music, tone by tone. The increased clarity also allows Vylet’s voice to shine bright – she embraces the spotlight, leading us through brooding melodies that harmonize and contrast with her background elements.

Electronic swirls of colorful keyboard still abound, cultivating Vylet’s signature dreamy gloss. “I wanted the instrumentals in the song to have a dreamy quality – to progress from languid synths and accelerate to an expansive chorus as a way to mirror the lyrics,” she explains.

The chorus definitely feels larger and more pronounced: The scene change is deft and subtle if you’re not paying close attention, but it allows her words to sink deeper into our subconscious. The clouds life for a moment as she sings:

Lightning bolt love
I couldn’t hit the ground running
Cracks form and they all swarm but
Yours are the only lips
Yours are the only lips
Yours are the only lips
So, lightning bolt love
That’s who I am too

Perhaps the most striking characteristic of this song is the clarity in Vylet’s lyrics. “Lightning” is confident and enduring in its embrace of companionate love – the one that lasts – even if the narrator herself is not always confident in herself. “The phrase ‘Lightning bolt love‘ came to me a long time ago to describe the cliché of love at first sight or being knocked off your feet by someone,” recalls Vylet. “The song is obviously about the longer trajectory – beyond the initial lightning and how that devotion becomes enduring. How does that intensity look later on, when shit gets real? Romantic love is almost a religion in the U.S. – all your problems are solved in films and books as long as you just find this magical person who parts the clouds. There’s no way to sign up only for the highs of anything in life whether it’s family, career, love, health, etc. It seems obvious, but it’s as though you’re in a tunnel during low points – you don’t know when or if it’s going to end.”

How are you living?
Smoke your way through
Nothing could ruin me like
A mile away, fading into gloom
With eyes locked
Never one to faint or fawn
That’s who I am too
That’s who I am too
Bedroom eyes for days
Don’t break my gaze
Never one to faint or fawn for
Vylet © 2017
Vylet © 2017

“Lightning” is intimate and personal, a cobbling together of interaction and introspection that connects all aspects of Vylet’s life. “Nothing could ruin me like ruminating,” she laments in the second verse. But all is not lost: She has that core person who, through thick and thin, opens her up and anchors her to the best of one’s ability.

Both verses start with a striking question: How are you living? This is a particularly strong gesture, considering the answers that follow. “The question, how are you living?, spoke to me – everyone has cobbled together an array of coping mechanisms to weather life. I wanted the song to explore the contrast between the early moments and surviving the lower points, the sicker, poorer or worse. Loving the core of a person and not their circumstances. There’s a confessional aspect too as the narrator is saying, I promise I’m in here somewhere. Don’t give up on me.

Match to the wick
Reaching out with phantom limbs
You have to believe I want this
That I’m biting a clenched fist

“Lightning” strikes hard, cutting deep as Vylet once again strips herself utterly bare in song. Vulnerable, meditative lyrics combine with minimalist instrumentals to craft a beautiful, dreamy circuitry that washes over us in waves of colossal emotion. Modest as she lets off, Vylet has once again managed to craft something overwhelmingly majestic. Keep an eye on her.

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Lightning - Vylet

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READ: Vylet Debuts with Youthful Turmoil on “Why”

by Mitch Mosk
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