The pop and EDM genres mesh together, almost perfectly. Today’s biggest radio hits prove that and it’s not hard to see why. This is far from a new trend but it’s certainly one that is getting a lot of notice these days. Made famous by artists like Ariana Grande, Zedd, Justin Bieber, Halsey… the list goes on. In Steubenville, OH, there is a duo who is out to make a name for themselves in this style. ALBVS (pronounced Albus) was originally a solo project, started by Joey Albus, who released a self-titled EP. When he met producer/DJ, Ralph Parissi, though, the group’s potential was fully realized. Now, having opened up for legendary artists like O-Town, Metro Station and, this coming August, LFO… they’re ready to release their debut album, Beautiful/Chaos. The album follows the tale of a love/hate relationship and its many twists and turn. The unique thing about this album, though, is that it’s told from dual perspectives.
The “Beautiful” side, kicked off by the obnoxiously catchy “Look Away,” has the listener reminiscing on what it’s like to fall in love, almost lose it (“Letting Go”) and realizing that it’s the real deal (“Bet On You”). As you’re taken through this side of the album, you also get a front row seat as to what it’s like to be someone’s “second choice.” “Opening Act,” which you can check out below, is probably one of my favorite tracks on the album. The “Beautiful” side closes with “Oxygen,” a steamy, slow-jam type of song that Judith Thérèse (aka JUDE) lends her mesmerizing vocal talents to, taking it up a notch. The best part about this side of the album is that, innocent as it may seem, it has a lot of unexpected twists and turns, lyrically. It also has a very upbeat nature that will have you wrapped in it, from the second it starts.
“Chaos” is another monster, entirely. Here, is where we start seeing the “crazy” side of a significant other. It kicks off with the dark, club-fueled title track. Here is a man, fighting with his sanity to end a relationship that he knows is toxic, but he just can’t pull himself away. Throughout this side of the album, a lot of strange things are done with the electronic elements, which makes tracks like “Lockdown” and “Masquerade” really “pop” on the album. “Masquerade” takes you through the tale of someone who has found themselves in a relationship that, the lovers THINK, is secret but, in reality, everyone probably already knows. Regardless, this danger in this type of relationship fuels them and the way this track flows makes it my favorite on the “Chaos” side. The album closes with “Hourglass,” which features Ralph’s brother, Ian Parissi (aka Aurora’s Light.) This track has a slight edge to it, almost turning it into something more alternative than pop, and creates an incredible atmosphere.
Albus and Parissi both have amazing qualities to their voice that compliment each, and every, part on the album. Parissi’s higher, more crisp vocal style pierces through and clashes in all the right ways with Albus’ gravelly, lower register. The emotion conveyed through the lyrics in each track is something that I really, and truly, love about this album. Too often, do we get swept up in how “fun” a track is, that we forget to really take the time and connect with what the songs are about.
Beautiful/Chaos has been a regular play in my library since I received it, I have a physical copy that has stayed in my car and I guarantee you that I will be playing it for anyone who will listen. ALBVS isn’t a household name, as of yet, but it’s clear to me that they have a bright future ahead of them. Be sure to pick up your copy of Beautiful/Chaos, releasing tomorrow, using the links below. If you want a taste, you can check out the official music video for “Lockdown,” the official lyric video for “Opening Act” and the official video for “Look Away” below. PS: If you grab the album from iTunes, you’ll get two additional remix tracks!
“Lockdown” (Official Music Video)
“Opening Act” (Official Lyric Video)
“Look Away” (Official Music Video)