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6 Degrees Entertainment

Artist - VONAMOR

Whether by accident or on purpose, if you scramble the letters in the name VONAMOR, you get ROMANOV. And the origin and overall feel of this Italian electro-dark wave outfit is almost as steeped in myth and mystery as the fabled Russian Royal family.

With their eponymous debut album, Giulia Bottaro (vocals, bass, various instruments), Francesca Bottaro (drums, synthesizer, various instruments), and Luca Guidobali (lead vocal), take their listeners on a mind-bending journey of bass and ambient beats.

The album has the definite feel of a concept album, with most of the tracks having lyrical vibes that feel like they have a place inside a movie, and musical vibes that feel as though they would belong in some Italian fashion show.

The most striking aspect of the album as a whole are the lyrics. They are absolutely haunting, and sung with the same, eerie effect. Lead track Empire + 2049 allude to some sort of conquest, but at a price, with lyrics that include, “give me your empire…we grieve for you…no more trust…”

The theme of trust — particularly the betrayal of trust — runs through most songs on the record. Never Betray Us casts a doubtful light on what it means to hold another in confidence: “I was told to never let you down and never betray you / But what if you were trying to water me down?”

Such evocative lyrics are enough to make the listener wonder exactly what the circumstance is behind them. But the unknowing is part of the beauty of the record.

1. Empire + 2049
2. Lucky You
3. Never Betray Us
4. Take Your Heart
5. You the People
6. Mother Night
7. Fast-Forward Girl
8. Wilderness

At others, though, it might be easier to infer the inspirations for the lyrics. Lucky You admonishes, “an eye for an eye unless it is yours…no more truth, it’s all fake news and fake truths and things that must have been misunderstood…”

Disillusionment is palpable, but is only a consequence of this present age. Fortunately for the listener, VONAMOR makes disillusionment catchy.

Electronic guitars shimmer in the back of the bass and drum machines on most tracks, while songs like Mother Night add more twangy guitars and smooth, a cappella vocals into the mix. Even more impressive, that track alone employs the use of at least three different languages: French, Italian, and English. There might even be German in there, too.

And if you only speak one of those languages, you’re not missing anything for not catching all of the lyrics, for the real fun is getting lost in the musical haze.

VONAMOR’s niche — at least for the moment — is in the haze of dark, smoky discotheques where melancholy, intellectual club kids may dance and discuss not only the disillusionment that VONAMOR’s music so clearly captures, but perhaps, also, hope.

Review by: Ashley J. Cicotte

VONAMOR’s self-titled album is available on all streaming platforms.