Pop Vision – a Los Angeles-based band known for its fiery, energetic performances covering songs that span the gamut of Top 40 radio – has released its debut, self-titled EP. Featuring five tracks, all written by Jesi Dipalo and Charley Hinchcliffe, Popvision sets its sights on high-energy songs that keep crowds and listeners jamming. Proving that playing cover songs, upwards of 200 gigs a year can lead to really finding out what audiences like, Popvision successfully transitions with its own contributions.
“No Reply” starts out with a chill, island-vibe. The delicate music bed with a confident vibrating pulse calls to the listener. With lyrics like “I keep on checkin’ but still no reply…maybe I came on too strong or maybe you already have someone to hold onto,” it may come across as a typical pop song (radio ready) but I felt the combination of vocals, lyrics and music really added depth. What I liked most about this song is the infectious chorus – it seems to strut itself right in between stanzas like hips to a dance.
“Light Up the Night” is a super charged, calorie burner. Joining Dipalo (who also plays bass) on vocals is Dyson (dance artist). When the two sing “can’t wait for us to ignite” it felt like the warmup song for a major sporting event, or even just the first track on a morning run playlist. This song, to me, really hones Popvision’s ability to find the balance between a meaningful pop song and a mesmerizing chorus. It’s a bright song and inspires.
The third track, “Superstar” is another standout. I just loved the feeling of freedom. It’s anthemic. The musical landscape Popvision paints in this song is broad and collides 80s synthesizer colors with modern pop rock tempos. Hinchcliffe takes the reigns and his vocal approach is warm. He’s charming as he croons, “You’re a superstar, you know who you are.” Much like John Lennon’s “Instant Karma” you get a sense of motivation and exhalation from “Superstar.” It’s as if Popvision is cheering with us on every tough road, every doubt. I think the brilliance of this EP, and Popvision themselves is that they want to share in listener’s happiness and be that connection for joy.
Finishing out the done-too-soon EP are “Tonight” and “Everything Changes.” “Tonight” feels much more futuristic and is a sure-fire hit for the dancefloor. In case you haven’t figured it out, Popvision knows how to get the crowd moving and having the night of their lives and “Tonight” feels wasted just listening in anything but a live setting. On the song’s bridge, there’s a quick guitar strum that caught my attention. It felt like a quick nod to the Smashing Pumpkins. A speedy one. “Everything Changes” is another keeper. The more I listened to it, the more I kept moving my favorite tunes from Popvision around in my head. “Everything Changes” fills spaces with incredible beats and movements. It makes you feel alive and, well, just happy! You can’t help but smile while listening to Popvision.
Popvision may survive and pay the rent by covering songs of Top 40’s biggest hits, but they certainly convinced me of their own greatness in the five-track EP. Smart songwriting, unforgettable dance beats and a zest for life are all packaged in this enjoyable collection.
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