Four years after their epic post-punk/psychedelic record Bleeding Magenta was released, the Venetian band the New Candys are back. Their new album, Vyvyd (released in June 2021), is an excellent culmination of creativity that has resulted from the isolation of the cataclysmic Coronavirus pandemic.
According to the album’s Bandcamp page, “This record has its own mythology. We played with religious, pagan and archetypal symbols, which have been distorted through our lens. If we had to sum up the album in one concept it would be the contradiction of light: God/good is often represented with a bright glow, whilst Lucifer, the personification of evil, means light-bearer. We’ve been inspired by the visionary cinema of Kenneth Anger and Alejandro Jodorowsky among others.”
Adopting a more spiritual theme compared to its predecessors, Vyvyd takes listeners on a journey into the bright glow the band describes. With the fuzzed out bass and hard-hitting drums, the Luciferian influences certainly shine through. Although Lucifer or the devil are often identified in heavy metal (or Montero by Lil Nas X), the New Candys offer their own unique spin on the prince of darkness. The character may not be mentioned directly, but his presence can be felt in the music and lyrics at times.
Opening with the pulsating synth of “Twin Mime,” the listener can almost feel like they’re being warped through a vortex with flashing strobe lights. The song succeeding it is even more intense, as the thunderous drums on “Zyko” seems to simulate being pounded in the head. However, the softness in frontman Fernando Nuti’s reverberated voice certainly cushions the blow. Fans of post-punk would feel right at home with this style of music.
The standout track would be “Begin Again,” guided by a catchy psychedelic guitar line and Nuti’s voice soaring into the cosmos. His voice sounds multilayered, creating a divine presence that accentuates the spiritual themes of the record. The narrator in the song’s lyrics could be interpreted as the subject’s childhood spirit yearning to return after having grown up. They state “What now is lost won’t come back / What I fear most will happen,” as the character has reached the point of no return and realizes it is too late.
In a stark contrast, “Evil Evil” is where Lucifer’s influence is clearly visible, with the singer’s voice becoming more aggressive than any song he has done up to this point. For a band known for mystical sitar-laden melodies, it is an unexpected but welcoming change. Variety has always been a strong suit of the New Candys sound, and Vyvyd is no exception. A guest singer, Jancy Buffington, appears on the track “Q&K,” complimenting Nuti well. With Juleah lending her voice on “Sermon” in the previous album, it appears that the band has a great taste in singers that they share their mic with.
The pandemic has made life incredibly hard for musicians, as live concerts are only starting to exist again after more than a year of worldwide isolation. Despite the circumstances, the New Candys have proven that a seemingly never-ending quarantine can facilitate creativity and generate greatness in the process.