Versal Releases Striking New Musical Works

From the first few notes of “Simply” forward, it’s pretty obvious that we’re in for something special in the new album Versal Volume 2 from Versal. There’s a translucence to the melody in the opening cut that stains the tone of the songs that follow it, and while we quickly change gears with the tempo and synthetic backing of “Your Eyes,” the effect of “Simply” remains present nonetheless. With songs like these and the mischievous “Pencil Strokes,” Versal Volume 2 draws us into quite the intriguing web of sonic mystery, but it doesn’t leave us without any ability to find where the real treasures are buried in this tracklist. Versal brings his a-game here, and there’s no denying that anywhere we look and listen.

“Stages” keeps the pace with “Pencil Strokes” aesthetically but with an added side of elegance that you’re definitely not expecting ahead of the almost gothic “Kind of Pink.” “Kind of Pink” is the most outrageously smooth and unforced slab of moodiness that you’re going to hear in Versal Volume 2, but it doesn’t overshadow the contributions of the other material in this collection of songs at all. There’s a lot of versatility to be enjoyed within Versal’s talents, and if this wasn’t more than obvious before the release of this new album, it’s going to be pretty hard for anyone to deny now that it’s rocking critics as hard as it is this winter.

Versal Volume 2

Listen to Versal Volume 2 on Spotify. Versal · Album · 2021 · 8 songs.

“The Guardians of Montserrat” and “Vivi Aquas Montserrate” are rather pushy with their arrangements, but I think they have to be in order for us to really appreciate just how much is going on by this point in the tracklist. Versal stops trying to stack things slowly once we get into the second act of the album, and nowhere are this creator’s intentions more obvious than when we’re in the heart of an eight-minute opus like the latter track. There’s no escaping the multilayered assault that’s going to unfold before your very ears in Versal Volume 2, and for those of us who live for something that stays out of the realm of simplicity in favor of exploring the unknown, this is the kind of album that we needed to end 2021 the right way.

“Departed” brings Versal Volume 2 to a bittersweet end, and while it has the most romanticized rhythm and construction of any track here, it doesn’t sound somehow removed from the eclecticisms and eccentricities that the other songs included in the LP are made of. There’s no filler to get around in this new album from Versal, but instead one layer of charged passion to get through after another, with the central theme revolving around the depth of this artist’s expressiveness rather than just the cosmetic value of his latest release. I’m very taken with the overall look and feel of Versal Volume 2, and if you’re the type to think outside of the box when it comes to seeking out refreshing melodies, you’re going to love what this record amounts to.

Clay Burton