There isn’t a person in this world who doesn’t struggle with some sort of inner demons. To make it worse, discovering a solution is equally as grim. VISTA is no exception; the electronic alternative rock/pop duo from New York City has spent the past two years warring and recovering thru loss and grief. Their new EP, cleverly titled The Ruins, introduces a listener to these personal “ruins.”
Hope Vista (vocals) and Greg Almeida (guitar) visit a hauntingly dense new landscape. What has defined the duo in the past – electronically beat-driven, smashing guitar riffs, and Hope’s hallmark vocals – still ring true in the new EP. However, their writing maturely backed off instrumentation to let Hope’s vocals tell this story.
An eerie synth-based opener of the same name initiates The Ruins and carries into what I think is the strongest song on the album, “After Death.” Immediately her enchanting melodies and dark lyrics interject us into rock- bottom with “Am I gonna die here?” Greg’s guitar riffs accent the rhythmically dominant underscore and layers in some mesmerizing lead lines. A complete crowd pleaser is peaked with a stuck-in-your-head chorus to make “After Death” rival with groups like Nothing More.
“Sin City,” dreams of escape from desiderium, with a realization that personal destruction in a “planet Hollywood” won’t “save you.” As with every song on the album, the lyrics are vital, and every listen will have you dissecting the lines for a new meaning. “I Don’t Need Help” deals with wanting to confront your emotional wars by yourself – an all-to-familiar desire. Greg is skilled at subtly accenting electronic backgrounds by knowing exactly where to place his guitar riffs or let the vocals shine. Specifically, here, his heavy-chugged chords propel the anthemic choruses. Okan Kazdal from Nevrlands, also guest features on the third verse and various harmonies.
“Novocaine” gives some heartfelt closure. The instrumental arrangement is kept relatively simple, but still features swelling synth melody and a beautiful arpeggiated acoustic guitar. Hope tells of putting away her pride to find help during the choruses. Whatever Vista endured in the past two years – you’ll feel it here. The Ruins is not meant to be a happy and uplifting album, but a trip into Vista’s pain, their turmoil, and their darkness. Each message is familiar to our own battles, and that’s where comfort can be found. The album will be followed up with two more stages in the trilogy, The Repair and The Revival (release dates TBA).
Stream The Ruins here!
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