Vague Pains is a music project by Zachary Lemon, a musician, and multi-instrumentalist with a focus on creating songs that set the bar higher in terms of genre definitions and sonic aesthetics. Recently, he has announced a new album titled Fragile Rush. This release features ten songs, each offering a glimpse into Zachary’s extremely diverse sound and style.
The opener, “Orion In Pursuit,” serves as a compelling introduction, immediately revealing the mood of the album and its ethereal yet haunting soundscapes. The second song, “Artist’s Soul,” offers a somber, slow-paced sound with mesmerizing distorted riffs and reverb-drenched vocals that are whisper-quiet but hypnotic and direct. The following number, “Locked Away,” is a drier, more melodic piece of music, which features jangly dream-pop guitars and great melodies with a lush feel. “Feathering Out” follows soon after, offering a more laid-back vibe and some expansive yet sparsely beautiful melodies. The guitar textures and synthesizers merge beautifully, creating a bright and sparkly melodic backdrop over the vocals.
The song “Spirit Lines” happens to be right in the middle of the album. The fifth song. The sound is slightly more experimental, with a stronger focus on synthetic textures and more emphasis on the bass as the driving force to propel the song’s groove. The vocals are also more present, showcasing a more assertive melody and some great harmonies in the background.
“Made Strong” is perhaps one of the most experimental pieces of music in this entire release. The track, which clocks in at 04:30, features shimmering synth tones and laidback drums. A ride cymbal offers an ethereal accompaniment to the music, making for a wash rhythm that still cuts beautifully through the many instruments and reverberated textures.
The following tune, “Stand Apart,” begins with a glitchy synth texture, only to give way to a faster post-punk-inspired arrangement. The vocals are more upfront and less whispered than on the rest of the album, at times even venturing into louder territory! The balance between quiet and loud is what makes this song quite special, and the overall mood offers a different, more upbeat diversion on the album.
“The Long Way” is yet another track that leans toward a different vibe. This happens to be one of the longest songs on the album, and the extra time enables the artist to create a rich and immersive tapestry. The chorused guitar lines are absolutely beautiful, as are the melodic bass lines that provide so much brightness and attach to the groove.
“Typewriter” is all about creating an amazing experimental rhythm, using, arguably, samples from a typewriter in order to create a very “musique concrete” feel for this piece of music. The vibrato-heavy synthesizers are also a fantastic addition to this composition, which is almost like a shorter interlude separating the rest of the album with its ambitious final song.
Speaking of, “Fragile Rush” is the longest track and a great conclusion to an album that’s understated yet immersive and diverse in its sonic tapestry.
Throughout the album, the interplay between reverberated vocals and effect-laden guitar lines gives the music a dreamlike quality, adding depth and texture to the sound. While the amazing guitar and synth work immediately stands out, the vocals are also impressively laid out throughout the album.
Zachary’s layered vocal harmonies blend seamlessly with the music, adding to the depth of the overall atmosphere. In addition, the drums do exactly what they should do, providing a steady, hypnotic rhythm that underpins the music without overshadowing any other element.
Don’t miss out on Vague Pains’s music, and stay tuned for the release of Fragile Rush, which will be available on streaming services from 9/29/2023. However, eager listeners can already find the song on Bandcamp and Soundcloud!