New music from VOWWS puts our recent past through a dystopic filter. The Australian duo, now based in Los Angeles, had been relatively dormant since their sophomore album, Under the World, came out in March 2018; looking back, their focus on performing live seems like a distant dream. And their new single is a wake-up call. “Impulse Control” comes during a dark social period and reflects a collective unease facing communities around the world.
“It’s a unique time for humanity, the machine has stopped and we’re all in solitary having to deal with ourselves. There’s a lot of anxiety that we can’t really run from. Like everyone else, we’re processing a huge shock and experiencing things we’ve never dealt with before. We’re grateful to have an outlet for some of the angst, it feels like the best way we can work through something this intense is to capture the feeling and represent it somehow. A lot of the song came out of nowhere, straight from the void probably.” – VOWWS
VOWWS’ music video for “Impulse Control” was filmed in Little Tokyo just before LA’s Safer-at-Home order became mandatory, and the song itself groans with menace, taunting us from the past. Memories from before the pandemic smell like cigarettes. Oppressive guitar tones hang heavily among the lingering smoke, providing a comfortable home for VOWWS’ brooding nature. They have self-described their sound as death-pop, and “Impulse Control” demonstrates everything there is to know about the genre—it’s pessimistic and honors its metal influences.
Words: Zoë Elaine