Local DIY pop outfit, NVDES, has earned a reputation for eccentricity. They released their debut Life With Lobsters EP less than a year ago, giving very little information about the band itself until it was out. Frontman and main collaborator, Josh Ocean, said this was “to establish the world in which NVDES exists,” one that apparently includes a staggering amount of melons. Clash called them reclusive back in the days of such mystery, but since Ocean began opening up in interviews, you can deduce that reclusive they most certainly are not. In fact, the project is entirely based on community and collaboration.
NVDES is an art collective based in LA, comprised of Josh Ocean, Madi Diaz and Sam Van Vleet, who convene in “Vibe City, Utah,” also known as Ocean’s living room. With NVDES, he can jam and experiment; it is a departure from his other band, Ghost Beach, who create high energy, structured pop. Ocean explained, “the goal of my new project was for me to be Nude, meaning honest and unapologetic with my work.” (Line of Best Fit) The band’s name is taken from a neon sign above a strip club, which is also appropriate since it’s unapologetically salacious as well.
Their new EP, titled La NVDITÉ, Vol. 1, is arguably more coherent than their debut, but the band hasn’t lost an ounce of their wild intrigue. On this release specifically, imagery created by Jenna Josepher & Giulia Marsico for some tracks is comically lewd, while the music remains fairly unpredictable. With Ocean on vocals, “Turning Heads” indulges vague vices, while “Dancer From New York” addresses thick sexual tension. Not to mention, when “Do You Think About Me” was introduced, it came with a b-side simply titled “Do Ya,” which chopped up the original and remade it with heavier electronics. Considering there could be an infinite amount of permutations of any of NVDES’ tracks, the coherent diversity on this EP is impressive.
‘NVDITÉ’ is a term the band coined to refer to their creative process. When putting a song together, everyone contributes on the raw sessions and then Ocean will stitch them together with synths and other artificial sounds on his computer, calling the genre ‘laptop punk.’ While any new material may tell us the current state of the artist who made it, this release feels more purposeful than that. The curtain is pulled back and there are no disguises or filters; what we hear on volume one is a compilation of honest and eccentric experiences; we can surely expect more on volumes two and beyond.
by: Zoë Elaine