“The 1 Big 1” by Vex Message

Consisting of Derek as the vocalist, Mark (‘Hopey’) on guitar & synth, and drummer Sam, Vex Message are a north-west based, synth-rock trio from Lancaster. Whilst the band have an impressive discography already, with releases throughout 2021 in spite of pandemic, this is the first time we have heard their music and it’s pretty safe to say that we can confidently count ourselves as fans of the band.

Proceedings begin with a distinctive vocal-hook that makes for a catchy intro that sounds freshly-different, making this song standout amongst the slew of summer releases. The sound quickly grows with the addition of suave samba polyrhythms that add another percussive layer alongside the strong bass drum beat. From here the rich and characterful vocals of Derek quickly find their stride, delivering the lyrics with personality and flair throughout the song, culminating in a song that will works itself into your memory and demand repeat listens, especially when those fantastic lead guitar lines join the mix – bringing some slick alternative rock vibes into the middle eight.

Moving on from the musical dissection to focus more on the general feel, the song is highly likely to embed itself in your brain due to its feel-good nature, whilst the percussion is an open invitation to get up and dance to the irresistible beat. We’re also a big fan of the amount of variation throughout the song: it clocks in at four-minutes long, though it feels much shorter due to the multiple, distinct sections and phrases that keep the song sounding fresh and keeps the listener guessing where the melodies are going to go next.

In regards to the songwriting process, Derek reveals: “Hopey wrote the bulk of this song. All our tunes come together in different ways, with us all tinkering about with stuff in a Dropbox folder. With “The 1 Big 1”, Hopey sent an almost finished version of the music and I just added my vocals. Sam recorded some drums in the studio and hey presto! We’ve got a tune on our hands.”

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