Review: VRSTY Construct “Cloud City” with Label Debut

Artist: VRSTY
Album: Cloud City – EP
Label: Spinefarm Records

1. Massive
2. Dig
3. Shameless
4. Pathos
5. Cloud City
6. Wilt
7. Wilt [Cloud City Edition, ft. Gina Fritz]

While you may think that Cloud City, the latest EP from NYC’s VRSTY is a Star Wars reference, you would be wrong. While vocalist Joey Varela is a huge Star Wars fan, the title derives from the state of his mind and his construction of a “city in the clouds” to escape from it all. Now signed to SpineFarm Records, the NYC crew is poised to release their best, and most diverse, material to date. From explosive metalcore to slow jams, Cloud City offers an array of genres for fans to dive into and explores just how talented these four individuals are. A vision was fully realized with the help of Andrew Baylis, who produced the EP and the band’s forthcoming full-length, to be released sometime in the future. While fans may have thought that their potential was realized with the release of BLCK in 2018 (and the deluxe edition of the EP in 2019) it was only the beginning. If BLCK was the larvae, Cloud City is the beautiful butterfly that has emerged from it’s cocoon, after a period of self-reflection.

Each track has something different to offer fans, expanding upon their unique sound and adding new elements at every turn. From the explosive, bombastic metalcore nature of “Massive” down the slower vibe and more pensive lyrics of songs like “Pathos” and “Cloud City.” In addition, the album features a rerecorded version of fan favorite “Wilt,” as well as a remix of the song. Gina Fritz offers a fresh, female perspective on the incredible story-telling we’ve come to love from Varela in the latter. Getting deeper and more personal with each release, is something we’ve come to expect from Varela (see tracks like “Colorblind” and “BLCK) but no track (that has been released) has come close to the title track. Not only does he reflect on a relationship gone wrong but he goes on to call out anyone who has doubted him or the band. The chorus turns into a realization of who he is and where he’s been and will go, the verses sink deep into R&B territory, nostalgic but modern all at once.

In terms of instrumentals, this band has never sounded bigger or more cohesive than the display of artistry that comes in the form of Cloud City. The melodies are more memorable than ever, the breakdowns will stop you in your track and, above all, the atmosphere expertly concocted will intoxicate the listener and pull you deep into the experience, rather than just a casual listen.

The 7 songs, 5 of which are brand new, contained within Cloud City are only a precursor of what’s to come with their new deal, and the team that they’ve created. Simultaneously, the most polarizing material they’ve created, while remaining profound and introspective in ways that you’d never expect. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on their socials for the forthcoming video for “Massive” and, without a doubt, much more to come in the near future. Cloud City is out digitally this Friday and you can pre-save it, buy merch and check out the official video for “Shameless” and the streaming audio for “Massive” below!

Pre-Save Cloud City/Buy Merch