Vitesse You Win Again, Gravity!

The synthesiser has become inexplicably connected to the 1980s to such as an extent that even today when a band’s sound is dominated by one, the muttering begin about them being part of an ’80s revival. Except the revival started before the decade even ended and it has been more like a logical progression that has brought bands like Vitesse to the point they are today. Comprising of Hewson Chen (also in Alsace Lorraine) and Joshua Klein (who was previously in Aden and Toulouse), Vitesse follow a template that has become increasingly familiar in recent years, particularly through the work of Stephen Merritt and his Magnetic Fields. But rather than coming off as another pale imitation, they manage to add enough of their own personality to make You Win Again, Gravity! a surprisingly satisfying listen. It isn’t hard to hear the other bands which have proved to be a big influence on Vitesse — both New Order and Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark rear their heads on occasion, but there are also tips of the hat to the likes of My Favorite and other similarly-minded folks. The overall effect is waves of synthesiser-driven brooding, sweetened by vocals that aren’t quite deadpan. It might appear a little one-dimensional initially, but under the surface lurks a whole range of subtleties that elevate You Win Again, Gravity! to the level of being damned near essential. (Parasol)