Singer-songwriter Aurelia’s debut single, “Wax”, shines as an eerie synth pop/electronic track. Aurelia is a visual artist and producer, working to bring light to issues that predominantly impact women and LGBTQ+ youth. She has worked with independent artists, and has also done some commercial work for larger corporations, like Coca-Cola.
True to its title, the track is reminiscent of wax, dripping and forming layers over time. The vocals are integrated seamlessly with electronic backbeats. This single builds gradually, adding layers of elaborate harmonies over its course. Sound effects are used, with the sound of a slashing knife integrated into the track, as well as a demonic voice layered with the vocals for one line. The singer effortlessly switches between octaves. Especially noteworthy is a shuddering sound, at the end of the pre chorus, leading into the track’s chorus. This in particular makes for a very unique and mesmerizing auditory experience.
Wax has layered instrumentation, and the vocal lines swim in and out of this background sound. The track integrates both “crunchier” electronic effects and smoother electronic lines. There is a clear contrast between the ethereal vocals and these crunchier backbeats, but this complex track meshes really nicely. Wax switches between two different melodic sections, though it has a uniformly minor key and eerie vibe. The intensity of the track culminates in the chorus.
In terms of lyricism, the track’s violent and intense imagery immediately demands attention. The verses have a distinct rhyming pattern (AAAB). Indeed, the lines read like poetry. Intimate, the lyrics reveal the artist’s inner world, all the while integrating more subtle imagery. Aurelia uses clever word play and many of the lines stick in your head, such as “your knife in my vows”. I also love more visceral lines such as: “I’ve got wax inside of my lungs.”
The lyrics reveal the track to be a deeply personal project for Aurelia. They expand on this project of two years in an interview, detailing how it has served as a healing process for their trauma and experience with abuse.
To me, the Wax was reminiscent of Ky Vöss’s work. Vöss’s “Coping Mechanisms” was one of my favorite albums of 2020 and shares a dream pop and electronic style. In addition, it is also a deeply personal project. Both projects are raw and emotional, and have similar lyricism. Though, Aurelia’s Wax has a grittier and darker sound, which I really enjoy.
Review by Fiona Irving-Beck