The Voice of DC
Beneath Vox Pop’s cheerful upbeat rhythms, twangy guitar riffs and well placed “hey-yahs” lay an unfinished story in need of resolution. Their songs, fueled by a mixture of true stories from their pasts and imagination lead you into a world inhabited by murderous killer and passionate lovers. In this story, each song is constructed with varied layers of affection, drama and intrigue with their most intimate sentiments placed directly in front of you. Listening to Vox Pop becomes a personal experience—much like hearing another person’s thoughts or reading someone else’s journal. Inspired by the heart of Appalachia, the band has created an inviting songbook that showcases a blend of bluegrass, Americana, and pop music.
During their live performance on September 18 at The Velvet Lounge, the band offered audience members everything from stories about redemption and remorse in their song “Original Sin,” to reminiscing about high heels and skinny black jeans in “Mona Lee.” In the midst of all this, Vox Pop was content from time to time to fill their stage with the simple, happy whirling sounds of a lone kazoo. Crowd favorites from the evening included “Muffin,” “Murder” and a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Jackson.” Together for only a year, Patrick Hawkins, Jess Dye, Danny Hawkins, Jason Chmiola and Alex Vactor have perfected the band’s signature “parlor-pop” sound.
The chemistry that fuels their songs is palatable, and exists among members both on and off the stage. For lead singers and songwriters Patrick and Jess, the compositions are personal and a reflection of their own, sometimes tumultuous, relationship. One of the band’s most memorable songs is called “10 x 10 square.” The piece is a testament to the months the two spent living together in a 10’ x 10’ room. Discussing the song after the show, Jess reflected that the time the two shared in that room was spent writing songs, learning about one another and dealing with the reality of their situation. Throughout the song Patrick and Jess delicately parcel out weighty phrases including, “I’ve got a 10 by 10 square cell, what’s mine is yours” and “I’m running out of ways to let you know I love you.” Fortunately for fans they are still very much together and all the stronger for their self-imposed sentence.
The band is looking forward to recording more songs and releasing an EP later this year. If the early recordings on the band’s MySpace page and their live performance are any indication, their first release will be a keeper.
For more Vox Pop check out their Web site at: www.myspace.com/voxpopsound.