Label: Ninja Tune
Released: 14th October 2022
Having built up a loyal following through their fierce live sets and their revelatory 2020 debut EP, London-based trio PVA had a significant challenge upping the ante with a reintroduction to their world on their first proper album. With an almost inevitably anxiety-ridden 11-tracker, they’ve somehow managed an exemplary job.
Vocalist Ella Harris describes the album as a series of, “characters in moments of tension, turmoil and internal hardship,” and that’s exactly what you get – the juxtaposition of absorbing build-ups and their eventual release, escapist bliss and sudden catharsis, rough textures and slick transitions.
Opener and fan-favourite ‘Untethered’ kicks off the deep dance collection with a bang; ‘Bunker’ proves a throbbing, electronic-ridden single; ‘Hero Man’ is a poppier cut with the same techno euphoria embedded throughout. Through years of jamming, ‘The Individual’ has transformed into a concise and compact explosive moment that continues to surprise.
Concluding with ‘Soap’, an orchestra-backed realisation of hard-fought happiness, the record drags listeners to the edge of a cliff and prompts them to scream with joy into an empty void. Accompanied by a futuristic, bold and colourful visual identity, the collection generates a holistic vision of a human torn between two states.
PVA have long accomplished their goal of gathering people together to rave, but took their time building towards a release that can encompass that energy while revitalising it for newcomers; the ambitious mission is beautifully translated into an accessible but rich invigoration of the group’s own style on ‘BLUSH’.