LA Electro-Pop Duo YVR Make Their Dynamic Debut On New EP
We talk all the time about how Los Angeles is a black hole of good, sugary, icy pop — the talent is endless and it can be tough to wade through it all to uncover the extra sparkling gems. Luckily, Stephen Stahl and Courtney Jenae have made the best easy to find as they merge their talents to form YVR.
On their debut EP Night Days, released last week, YVR make their dynamic debut with six in-your-face electro-pop bops. Night Days kicks off with “Heartless,” the kind of hook-heavy dance track you’d be hearing on the radio now if the radio was paying attention. Smacks of electronic beats chug along in an icy arrangement that remains tender through and through, even at its most infectious and explosive. When Courtney’s breathy voice sings, “Baby I ain’t heartless / I just learn to use my heart less,” it’s a palpable moment begging to be howled into the ether of YVR’s vibrant pop soundscape. On the duo’s most popular track, “Unique,” they offer a perfect slice of emotional electro-pop that pumps with robust production and yet another dreamy hook. “Messy” is another standout track on the EP, though it’s clear that there really are no weak points on Night Days. Here, we still get the smacking clamor of electronica that YVR have mastered, but it’s darker than their previous tracks, a jarring piece that pounds relentlessly beneath airy vocals.
Halfway through Night Days, YVR give us “Love First,” less obviously radio-ready and pop-centric than the record’s first half, but still a really gorgeous example of the duo’s clever songwriting and attention to detail when the song moves from a soft, plinking beginning to a swollen explosion. On “Talking In Your Sleep,” YVR’s modern electro-pop tendencies are pushed to the wayside briefly for shimmering percussive punches and firecracker electronica calling to mind old-school pop-rock efforts. Night Days ends six tracks later with the sweet, soaring “Always You,” a power-pop ballad that finds Courtney’s best vocals and the most fully-formed production of the whole EP. It’s almost lurching in its quick beats and unexpected crescendos, but ultimately, it’s a smash of energetic electronica.
With their debut EP, YVR prove that they are forces to be reckoned with in the glittering world of pop magic. These aren’t just bops to let loose to — they mean something. They’re important. They remind us that we’re not alone, that we’ve all been through the same shit. The fact that YVR have managed to create such relatable club bangers is a feat of great success.
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Featured photo of YVR by BJ Jensen