VRL – “Kill 4 U Die 4 U” – Single Review
Lemme tell ya folks…after having a good listen to this single “Kill 4 U Die 4 U,” the least surprising twist of my 2022 so far, was to read that VRL – aka Valerie Rose Lohman – is a master of multiple aspects of the expressionistic & artistic realm. You can see it visually, right there in-print on her website to confirm if ya like – it’ll tell you she’s a “voice actor, musician, performer” – but believe me, you can hear all those ingredients in the mix throughout a song like this one. You’ll have no problem whatsoever hearing just how much professionalism there is in Valerie & the music she’s making as VRL…and a track like “Kill 4 U Die 4 U” is pretty much written, designed & built to be a perfect vehicle for her many versatile strengths.
Almost like some sort of beautifully dark combination in sound, like what you’d imagine would happen if Mazzy Star and The Cure were to somehow merge…there’s a distinct Post-Punk vibe that runs through the core of “Kill 4 U Die 4 U” that really can’t be ignored, but more progressively artistic as well, like you’d find in something like Hooverphonic as well. All of this obviously works well for me – comparisons like these are good company for VRL to be keeping, yet only listening to this hybrid artist in action will make the full picture become clear on what this particular project is going to sound like. I have lots of favorites moments that I’ve discovered along the journey of hearing this single…I think the depth of the vibe hits quickly – and I love the boldly angelic & graceful way that Valerie sings as the song kicks in. The chorus goes on to reveal memorable hooks for sure…the music has a meaty & mysterious atmosphere overall…Valerie’s vocals remain continually on-point and outright impressive in her biggest highlights. I’d argue that many of those extraordinary moments are found within the bridge…which…I’ll be real with ya, I’m kinda neither here nor there when it comes to that one part in the song itself, but the performance at that spot is significantly strong, and speaks volumes on behalf of what she’s capable of. So…I mean…she’s kinda got me trapped, you know? Obviously I’m not talking about anything so detrimental that I’d skip through thirty seconds of a song – get real – it’s still a solid piece of songwriting, but it does deviate slightly from the accessibility you’ll have found in the rest of the song surrounding the bridge, that’s all I’m saying. The reality is, Valerie rocks that spot in the song so confidently and with such brilliantly vibrant tone in the layers of her vocals, that it’s bound to keep every single one of you onboard & listening contently, just like I was – and on the other side of it? The chef’s kiss y’all…the cherry on top…for real – the extra bite she adds into her vocals for the final run through of the main hooks in the finale of “Kill 4 U Die 4 U” was the perfect way to amp-up the excitement & enticing sound to finish this single off in style. And I’ll be real with ya – it’s not like she’s even hit it THAT much harder – just the right amount…to get the passion of her words across perfectly like the professional she truly IS.
While it’s always hard to say for certain on the sound of one single, my gut tells me we’ve got another real champion of music & art combined here in VRL, similar to other incredibly strong voices out there in the independent scene that have been crushing it like Erin Fox, Laura Scarborough, and Chasing Jonah. Once again, in my books, that’s stellar company to be keeping as peers…I’ve been a big fan of all of their music, and I certainly dig what I’m hearing in the potential of VRL in addition to the sparkling melancholy she’s woven so brilliantly into the fabric of this single from her upcoming debut EP coming out this year. “Kill 4 U Die 4 U” cleverly examines the twisted emotions we go through in the obsession with love, and how as beautiful as any relationship or emotions that come with it can be, there’s a darker side lurking that can love too much…and when we’re in the throes of passion, the line separating one from the other can be thinner than you’d ever imagine, and blurred beyond recognition if we’re not too careful. For those that get the feels stronger than others, love can practically be a burden, or at the very least, create a feeling of responsibility that can also be exhausting to the soul, even if the commitment seems fully reciprocated under the best of circumstances. I’m sure you get the point – “Kill 4 U Die 4 U” is a genuinely thought-provoking tune written with unique perspective and poetic lyricism that’s bound to be interpreted in a whole bunch of ways out there by y’all listening, as music should be. To me, this is very much a song about the lengths we’ll go for love, what we’ll put ourselves through, how much our hearts can carry, and the desperate yearning to find the balance of emotions & some calm in the storm.
Highly interesting stuff from VRL here in this single all-around…I’m definitely curious as to where she’ll go from here and what those next songs will sound like. She could be something like Kate Bush with her remarkable vocals, she could go the weightier artistic route into Portishead terrain…she could do both and a whole lot more, that’s the point – the options are plenty, and the future is wide-open for an artist like VRL putting the level of commitment, dedication, thought, and talent into what they create. I’m all about it – “Kill 4 U Die 4 U” is an excellent start for VRL this year & an indication of great things to come; Valerie was born to entertain in a variety of ways, and you’ll be stoked she chose music as one of’em.
“Kill 4 U Die 4 U” comes out this February 14th, just in time for Valentines Day wouldn’t ya know!?! Find out more about VRL from the official website at: https://www.valerieroselohman.com
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