When I found out that Alex Bent + the Emptiness would be hitting Canadian Music Week, I knew I had to catch his set after his phenomenal Dead, In The Water album (go read our interview to learn more). Not only did I witness the greatness that is Blonde American Girl live, and then some, but also his new Vanilla Blue which finds Bent shifting away from his dark piano pop into something more indie rock with a lush pop atmosphere.
Opening with a fuzzy guitar riff, Bent begins, “Oh, I’m just trying to love you,” which sets the mood of the track. Bent may be venturing into new sonic territory, but his vulnerability is still present as he laments about his cursed touch and pulls you into his vivid and sombre story. Every sincere and fragile word is punctuated by the emphatic driving guitar and a tapestry of engrossing atmospheric textures. This is the difference in shades that you knew wouldn’t last as the sound of the deep freckles on her ivory skin slipped away, and the sunrise eviscerated you through the cracks of her window blinds one last time.
If this is any indication of what’s to come from Bent’s forthcoming album of the same name, I can’t fucking wait. For the single, Bent provided some backstory:
“I decided on the title “Vanilla Blue” several months before I started writing the song. It originally came to me as a description of my appearance, but after running the name by several friends I realized that those two words could be interpreted in many different ways. One friend interpreted the title to mean “a sweet kind of sadness” and it stuck with me. I started working on the song shortly thereafter and wrote it with that meaning in mind.”
In the Riley Deacon directed video, we follow Bent through a series of cinematic shots mixed with lo-fi. Watch Vanilla Blue right here.