Written by Maria Arroyo
Filipino artist Idris Vicuña a.k.a. Eyedress just released his new album, Let’s Skip To The Wedding, out now! At the age of 6, Vicuña moved from a city named Makati in the Philippines to the United States. From there, he’s moved all over, and is now sharing his first release since moving to the United States. Vicuña says his new album “channels the uncertainty of 2020 into an eclectic collection of songs and loved up a remedy for the times.”
“Let’s Skip to the Wedding” is the opening track that creates a very loud and retro-esque sound right off the bat. I think it’s an interesting choice to have their album track as the first song, but it got my attention. “Skateboarding Day” has a very interestingly dark sound that just sits right below a very light and high vocal melody, which is pretty different. It definitely adds contrast to the song, but at moments, the contrast was too severe. I found myself liking the backing track a lot more than the vocals, and I definitely think this song as an instrumental with maybe a guitar or drum solo would have made better use of the song. “Never Want To Be Apart” has a cool ’80s inspired vibe to it, and having them bring back some pretty big musical staples gives it that extra flair. Once again, the vocal melody was just too stagnant for me, so it gets pushed to the back of it all when listening to it.
It wasn’t until his next song, “Romantic Lover,” that the huge contrast between the lower register and the high frequencies in the instrumentation didn’t bother me as much. The monotone melody oddly worked with this song, and it felt like the song was taking place in an alternative reality, which I think added a neat perspective to the album. “I Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend” is where we FINALLY have a different style for a vocal performance. I don’t know if it was a different singer, maybe just a different approach to the song, but I appreciated the change of direction. They dipped into this ’60s sound with the sliding parts in the instrumentation, but while I really appreciate the change in the vocal performance, it just still wasn’t appealing to me.
Eyedress creates a more relatable lyrical story with their song “Jealous” but it wasn’t revamped to say the same words in a different way. There’s a saying that I love as a songwriter, and it’s by The Songwriting Academy’s founder Martin Sutton, who says “Songwriting is about saying familiar things, in an unfamiliar way,” and with that in mind, this song just didn’t cut it for me.
The introduction of a female singer in their song, “Trauma,” really helped the album, and while his style isn’t something I gravitate towards, I appreciate the consistency between his sound, and that her sound doesn’t rival Eyedress’, but compliments it.
“My Girl The Finest” is another song that surprised me. I actually looked up from listening on my phone, and having a listener stop dead in their tracks is a really neat thing to accomplish. I looked up because it was different enough from everything else on the record, but not in a way that made it stick out like a sore thumb for the album. I really loved the fusion of this classic R&B and intimate approach with his psychedelic style. Carrying the same laid back sultry vibes from the previous song is “Never Been To Prom” and creates a better transition between the two sounds.
Eyedress changes things up one more time with “Self Improvement” which carries a heavier alternative rock sound that I think pairs well with his lower register so much better than all the other songs. Eyedress begins to transition back to the same energy of the beginning of the record with “Kiss Me Like It’s The First Time.” He’s able to bring the album close to a full circle, tying everything together as we draw near the end.
I loved the little jam session ending because the instrumentals are the highlight of the album. The closing track on Let’s Skip To The Wedding is “Anything For You.” This song adds a softer touch to his music where his lower register is highlighted in a better light. The contrast in the song is still present, but it’s presented in a new light that makes a hell of a lot more sense. It really suits the sound, and the two of them finally feel like they are meant to be mixed with one another.
The same contrast that I mentioned earlier between his vocals and the rest of the music is probably what makes this album so different. It’s not a pairing I’d naturally gravitate towards, but I can appreciate the craft behind it. Eyedress is definitely in his own lane, and he’s paving a new way for himself all his own.
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