There’s a moment in the dim light of dawn when we first open our eyes and remind ourselves who we are, where we left off yesterday and what we have planned for the hours ahead. This is the moment captured by Voletta in their second EP, ‘Soft Focus’ released October 20. This two piece band from Philadelphia mixes fuzzy industrial vibes with floaty shoegaze soundscapes.
Originally formed in 2004, Voletta is comprised of Joe Sheairs (guitar, vocals, bass) and Andre Comfort (drum kit, drum machines, synth) who have been playing together since 2009.
The ‘Soft Focus’ title track takes the lead with electronic beats, layers of fuzz guitar, and poignant piano. The breathy vocals are nearly indecipherable, but calming. It’s been a long day followed by a longer night that’s left you bleary eyed, and this song feels like a welcome safe ride offering to “guide you home.”
Still leading along the path toward refuge, ‘Soft Focus’ weaves you through the confused rendered-soul mood set in “Unfold.” Taking you by the hand, Voletta encourages you to “just leave your fears behind.” Just as the mental grip on worst-case scenarios relaxes however, the melancholy “Strung Together” seeps in with its rainy day reassurance, portrayed by soothing vocals, trickling guitar notes, and heavy gray cloud bass lines.
Staying awhile in that low place, ‘Soft Focus’ discusses “how we’ve run aground” in “Patterns.” Developing into a wondrous atmospheric sound, this song takes the retrospective scope and widens its view to encompass the future. Strong drums mingle with a keyboard crescendo to uplift the spirit, pointing toward hope once more.
Sometimes when you hope, you get butterflies, and that’s exactly what Voletta brings next in the brief fidgety pacing track, “Nervous with a Reason.”
Voletta finishes with “Fingers to Your Arms” immersing you in a shoegaze trance, cut by just the right amount of groove rock to ground the momentous wave of sound.
‘Soft Focus’ is smooth, powerful, sparkling…like water gliding over rocks, polishing the rough edges, showcasing the inherent beauty within.
Voletta’s ‘Soft Focus’ EP is available for free download at bandcamp.