The avant-trip-hop of Vanessa Bedoret’s Eyes


Vanessa Bedoret. Photo via publicist


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There is a prevailing feeling of departure across Vanessa Bedoret’s debut album, Eyes. Veils are pierced and worlds are created and destroyed, often within a single song. A classically trained violinist from the age of six, Bedoret has performed live with Standing On The Corner, collaborated with Severin Black on their 2022 EP First Passage / Excommunicated, and played in some punk bands. For Bedoret, upheaval is more than a state of being; it’s an instrument. And on Eyes, she wields it with a skill worthy of her biography.

The new project expands on the sounds and moods found on Innce / Viper, a solo EP released by Bedoret in 2022 on Laura Lies In. Both sides of that project are ominous post-trip-hop tracks, Bedoret’s voice glinting with an emerald twinkle off of waves of paranoid strings (“Innce”) and fluorescent, brassy ambient synths (“Viper”). These songs showcase Bedoret’s mastery of the ethereal, floating with an airiness that gives any percussion or dissonance an otherworldly gravity.

Eyes was designed to fill a room with its sound on even the most humble speakers. Bedoret began writing it six months before her first solo show in 2022; as she performed more, the music began to develop. As a result, every frequency of Eyes feels like an angle in some immaculately designed building. Fragments of techno, noise, ‘90s electronica, and neoclassical are gathered up and shattered to form the foundations of Bedoret’s creations.

Even the lyrics, Bedoret told Nina Protocol this month, can be sourced from these fragments: “Lyrics always follow at the end, from sounds turning into words. There is no specific theme, only sharing personal observations of the world, people’s behaviors, and periods of my life.” Bedoret’s choral registers render the specific words tantalizingly out of reach, like the cajoling of a siren from just beyond the late morning fog.

This crepuscular and beguiling nature is announced with “Choice,” the project’s opener. Beams of ambiance fade in as deep and ominous electronic drums rumble, heralding Bedoret’s swaying vocals. There are two prevailing modes on Eyes: sleek, avant-garde reconstructions of club music — think Björk produced by Mica Levi (“Choice,” “½,” “Transition,” “Pas”) — and haunting, cinematic arias (“Eyes,” “Ballad”). In either case, the songs take on the color of hymnals from a church somewhere deep inside of Bedoret’s heart.

“Eternal,” the final song on Eyes, combines the two. Here, the project’s fascinatingly ambiguous mood comes to a head, with strings that swell and exhale with catharsis. Or is it foreboding? In its closing seconds, the track melts into a glitchy, terrifying spider’s web a la Wendy Carlos’s score for The Shining, disarming us once again. Departure may be a recurring motif across Eyes, but it never feels like anything less than an arrival.