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Versal is the solo project of Javier Velez, a Houston-based musician who has just released his debut, self-titled EP Versal. Inspired by the likes of mononymous atists such as Enya, Vangelis, and Yanni, the EP is an ambient New Age fantasy of otherwordly soundscapes and ethereal melodies that elude capture but remain stuck in the back of the listener’s subconscious. Given the influences, the songs aren’t exactly that modern in production and many of the synths call to mind the ’80s, but there is a strange timeless quality to their sound that is at once both deeply alluring and disquieting.
Velez has had the idea for some of the songs, such as “Carrousel,” since he was six years old, and they often sound quite innocent, as if he writes from a child-like perspective that has seasoned with age. There is a dreamy, hypnotic atmosphere to songs like “Eternal” while others like “Dawn” and “El Camino a Montserrat” sound like they’re meant for a fantasy adventure film not yet made. Needless to say, every moment is intensely cinematic but it also feels effortless and delicate. Versal is a highly accomplished and original statement from an artist who clearly puts his entire soul and personality into his work.
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