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VOILÀ release sophomore album "The Cure for Breathing"


The Cure for Breathing

Release: September 15, 2023

Review by Jaylen Heady

Luke Eisner and Gus Ross, known together as the acclaimed pop-rock duo VOILÀ, are masters at emo excellence. Following the massive success of their debut album Happily Never After, the pair have garnered a slew of over 1M combined followers, almost 1.5M monthly Spotify listeners, and their own VOILÀ signature comprised of soundscapes that dance across genres, raspy vocal cries, and infectious, rip-roaring melodies.

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Their sophomore album, The Cure for Breathing, has come just in time for spooky season, and it is jam-packed with dark imagery, relatable lyricism, and pure emotion. The tracklist explores themes of love, heartache, and growth in a way that easily morphs music into a mirror.

Speaking on their evolution since last year's release, the band notes, "If our debut album, 'Happy Never After', was a movie, then 'The Cure for Breathing' would be the director's cut. It's a more unfiltered, deeper, and personal memorial of some of the downhearted moments of my life."

An ear-splitting jam is the optimal way to open a record of emo influence. Nevergreen, joined by second-time collaborator Kellin Quinn of Sleeping with Sirens, is perhaps the most traditionally emo on the album. The song's classic screamo background juxtaposed with the honey-dipped vocals in the forefront offers a unique sonic example of the complexity tied to regret.

So Hot that it Hurts shifts gears to a more fast-paced, spunky pop-rock that would typically dominate radio stations. Talk about an "all gas no brakes" kind of dance anthem. Like Girls Don't Come with Instructions and Crybaby (with phem), the song has a pounding heartbeat of heavy euphoria that really makes it soar.

Often, the band executes the kind of vocal riffs that make you want to perpetually rewind. Table for One is just one example of the gorgeous tone that remains omnipresent throughout the album. Not to mention, it has an incredible bridge and outro combination with a catchy build-up to a standout isolated vocal.

The halfway point packs major gut punches. Made for This and Don't Say I Didn't Warn You (with Craig Owens) are hammering punk through and through. Seemingly placed as a two-part story, Made for This paints a seductive temptress that causes pleas for saving. Subsequently, Don't Say I Didn't Warn You acts as a caution sign for any future victims.

Better than Me and Off the Edge (with LUNA AURA) offer up one last dose of high-spirited instrumentation cloaked in introspective lyrics. Warning: They may seem upbeat, but they have the potential to ignite some serious feels.

In a contrastingly gentle demonstration of range, Conversations with the Dashboard is the only track on the record colored in beautiful acoustic/singer-songwriter influence. The song would feel jarring if not for the quieter intro of the title track The Cure for Breathing that follows. In true VOILÀ fashion, the momentum spikes back to a head-bang when the chorus kicks in.

Interestingly, the most streamed song on the album happens to also be the closer, Playing Dead. It is an unapologetic ending to the vulnerable ride that listeners boarded when they pressed play, and the final cathartic flatline leaves hearts a little lighter than they were before.

The Cure for Breathing is a mental and physical experience just as much as it is a treat for the ears, and it certainly cements VOILÀ as one of the most electrifying, boundary-pushing alt-rock artists in the game.

Be sure to catch VOILÀ on tour with Craig Owens this winter! Dates and tickets here.

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