Vylet Pony – Carousel (An Examination of the Shadow, Creekflow, and its Life as an Afterthought) | Multi-Genre Album

Over half a year in the making, and actualizing concepts from the last five years, Vylet Pony’s new album is jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, and breathtaking. It is an album shroud in mystery as its narrative follows the protagonist and their shadow through a plethora of genres, each track morphing seamlessly into the next, starting with heavenly soundscapes before descending into darkness and death, only to turn around and ascend back to its harmonious beginnings. Much of the story is incomplete, and the listener is invited to theorize more about it. Throughout the album you’ll hear samples from previous Vylet songs, the classic “Sing a song about life” clip, as well as a new carousel motif.

Get a song-by-song breakdown after the break

Track one, “Let’s Fly to the castle,” starts out as a lovely house tune, with fluffy synths creating an incredibly warm tone and vocal chops floating effortless around the mix before dropping into a jazzy, chiptune like section. The piece then builds up anticipation with its marching snare and ends with a gorgeous violin solo backed by piano.

Track two, “Pony Rock!” quickly jumps into pony chops taken from the iconic “Winter Wrap Up” from Season 1. GalaxySquid’s vocals add so much warmth to the sound and NekoSnicker’s performance on top of piano is heart wrenchingly beautiful. Then the drop hits back into the main groove, and just when you think the sound couldn’t be any fuller, it drops out and comes back in with insane 16th note chiptune synth runs! Absolutely stunning!

Track three, “Constellation Cradle“, travels away from the warm synths and into glitchy, hyper pop vocals. But it doesn’t stay there for long, whiplashing to ambient electronic, reminiscent of Vylet’s previous album, only to drop a jazzy interlude for three seconds before dropping into heavier dubstep. There’s even some baroque harpsichord in there! Honestly, this track is such a flex as Vylet Pony commands mastery of an incredible variety of different sounds.

Track four, “How to Talk to Your Shadow?” rings heavily with carnival music as an announcer introduces the listener to the shadow, building up anticipation for what’s to come as the carnival music creepily dies down. A radio bumper throws us some early fandom memes before introducing the next track, “Brohoof!” This certified brony classic is complete with pony chops galore and an infectious beat that will surely have you dancing forever likes the lyrics say /)

Track six, “Bass Cannon“, takes the intensity up a notch with its avant-garde hardcore sections paired against gorgeous bossa nova. Its dissonant chords ring loudly as the lyrics start probing… “Is it a bliss? To forget” and “Is it so wonderful?” The carousel is turning, and it’s taking us to a very different place than where the album started.

Track seven, “Crush Kill Destroy Swag“, in contradiction to the YouTube video it references, begins with beautiful pads, pianos, and strings, establishing a heavenly orchestra-like sound before switching to a funkier, bass heavy groove. It takes a darker turn in the middle with a mesmerizing darkstep beat accompanied by Vylet’s vocals which eventually fade into the ether, leaving us in a void of scratchy, glitchy, eerie ambience…

…aren’t you excited?…

Track nine, “Hush!” begins with Vylet delivering an intense vocal performance which feels like a cross between rap and spoken word before dropping back into a gorgeous synth-scape leaving you in awe. But don’t let your guard down because it’s just the eye of the storm and the intensity ramps back up into a grungy, heavy metal section. It might be the longest track on the album, but it will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time.

Track ten, “Examining the Afterthought“, is reflective in nature as its title suggests, giving the listener a break with some lighter synths playing over a radio broadcast of someone who sounds very much like Obama. The sound design is stunning with arpeggios rapidly speeding up and slowing down in waves, giving the track a very relaxed, ocean like feel.

Track eleven, “Flair for the Dramatic” features a slightly darker but incredibly deep sound which will leave you feeling exposed as the narrator confronts her shadow in the lyrics. Its chorus is one of the most rallying anthems of the whole album, and in its final iteration, it modulates up a half-step to given it even more intensity! In the second half, the synths give way to just an acoustic guitar and the vocals, creating a really vulnerable and special moment for the listener.

Track twelve, “Carousel“, with its dark piano, violin solos, and its angelic vocals is hauntingly beautiful, building up to an incredible moment of catharsis. The track then turns into a moodier ballad with its bitter lyrics before turning again to a more hopeful sound with Namii’s beautiful voice accompanied by piano. Much of the song is in 3/4, which gives it the perfect sensation of a Carousel spinning round and round.

After much of the album has explored darker themes and sounds, track 13, “Futura“, is a departure from that to a brighter place. Its starts with just a few mellow synths, bass, and vocals before fully opening to a warm and hopeful sound complete with synthetic bells, guitar, and even a Theremin! Lyrics such as “no healing without pain; no clear skies without rain” also reflect this tonal shift and mark the restoration of balance.

Thus we arrive at track 14, “Creekflow“, which opens with the glitchy carousel motif looping on itself, soon to be joined by acoustic guitar and strings. The texture is fluid and crisp like the sound of a brook of light flowing and made complete by Vylet’s blissful vocal performance. Not to leave without a bang, the sounds explodes at the halfway mark before fading back into the sound of the creek. The end of “Creekflow” immediately leads back into “Let’s fly to the Castle!” to complete an entire spin around the carousel.

The album stands as an incredible accomplishment! The concept is stellar, its execution wondrous, and there’s so many genres and idea packed into it that it will keep you engaged well beyond your first listen through. Great work Vylet!


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