蔦 ("Ivy", stylized as IV) is a musical outlet originating in 2018, as a continuation of the Pandora Moon Project (2005 - 2006) and Psychedelica (2007 - 2008).
After sporadically releasing singles between 2009 and 2011 (including "Valhalla"), the artist formerly known as Psychedelica refrained from working on new music in favor of literary goals. This changed in January of 2018, which saw the rebranding of Psychedelica into 'IV', and the release of 'Infinity Velocity', their first musical project in a decade. Infinity Velocity explored the vaporwave genre through a continuous flow of songs based around IV's relationships. Separated into three arcs - Infinity, Voyage, and Visions - the themes of romance, self-love, and identity characterized much of the material, and introduced IV to an entirely new audience in the streaming and social media-driven age.
The album was followed quickly by the release of INFERNAL:VIRUS, a companion piece to Infinity Velocity that instead explored the paranoia and doubt surrounding romantic relationships and self-sabotage. The dubstep and trap-inspired EP spawned IV's biggest online hit at the time, "Bump in the Night", which amassed over 100 plays within its first 24 hours.
IV branched from the themes of their first two 2018 releases with a more subdued EP, one that would characterize their sound moving forward. これは永遠です ("This Is Forever") was described as their love letter to their listeners, and featured a more downbeat, jazz influence when compared to previous releases. Their second EP released in February, これは永遠です garnered more listens than the previous efforts, showing an upward climb that would continue through their followups.
IV's second full-length album, SOLARIS, was released on May 10 2018. Clocking in at 1 hour and 22 minutes, it remains IV's longest and most ambitious release to date. Described as an "experimental space odyssey", the 18 song set features an eclectic production that combines acid house, neo-jazz, trap, industrial, and electronica into a listening experience unlike any of their previous releases. Critically lauded and garnering thousands of streams, SOLARIS solidified IV as one of the more forward-thinking artists emerging through social media.
A brief respite and reinvigorated approach proceeded the arrival of IV's third full-length effort of 2018, 'Where the Rainbow Begins', on June 12 2018. Eager for a challenge, IV abandoned the synth-heavy sounds of Infinity Velocity and the experimentation of SOLARIS. This record, inspired by the artist's relationship with nostalgia and memories of their teenage years, featured a more organic production, with guitar being central to a majority of the album's material. The southern rock/folk infused Where the Rainbow Begins offered a new insight into IV as an artist, and remained their most personal effort to date.
IV's final project of 2018, the EP 'THE WORLD IS ON FIRE', came at the end of June. A complete departure from their previous release, the country-inspired WTRB, TWIOF combines an array of styles, such as metal, dubstep, and techno. Inspired by the chaos of the news cycle and feelings of apathy towards the state of wordly affairs, as well as interrelationship turmoil, TWIOF is in essence the artist's response to feeling overwhelmed and helpless in the modern age. The sole single of the album, Mindfuck, reached the Top 10 instantly, and garnered hundreds of listens within the first 24 hours, outperforming IV's previous singles.
With three EPs and three LPs released within the span of 6 months, IV stepped back from the spotlight and retired the performance art project of their anonymous online releases, choosing to focus on writing projects such as the continuation of their novel series, 'Fata Morgana'.
Their return to music began during January 2021, while the artist was still quarantining due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Released in June of 2021, 'Borealis' serves as the artist's fourth LP. The album drew inspiration from 80's music and included various styles, such as synthpop, arena rock, and cumbia, spanning the course of twelve tracks. Thematically, the album draws from dysphoria and body dysmorphia, likening the experience of discovering peace in one's identity to that of a Odyssey-esque voyage through "uncharted waters". The album spawned five singles: Shadow Play, Thunderbird, Bermuda, Moonshine, and Black Lagoon (which was included on the special edition, 'The Abyssal Chapter', along with two other deluxe tracks). Although the release didn't garner the attention of prior releases due to a limited promotional campaign, it received critical acclaim, with many calling it the artist's most cohesive record to date.
The fall of 2021 saw a new - and presumably final - work by IV being teased. Mysteriously titled "#EPIV", representing what would be the fourth EP release under the IV brand, the project was soon announced as 'The Fluorescent Void'. Quickly, songs began dropping: Sweet Nothings, in September; Knowbody, in October; and both Heartbreak City and Pills Pills Pills, in November. With the project being presented as IV's final effort, the artist made a firm statement that the work would be expanded to an entire album: the standard edition to be released in December of 2021, and a sequel album to be released in January of 2022 to coincide with the third anniversary of 'Infinity Velocity'.
Always one ahead of the curve, underground incognito pop icon IV continues to experiment with the 'next'. Guaranteeing their lightning to strike again and again with their enigmatic releases and bombastic sense of sound, IV has their sights set on a future full of sonic exploration and genre-pushing bangers.
The first step is simply making you believe.
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