The talented duo of VH x RR (Von Hertzog and Cause & Effect’s Rob Rowe) are prepared to drop their third EP, On The Shoulders of Giants, and are poised to release their latest single from it, “The Undertow.” But you don’t need to wait until they open up the pre-order and drop the single Thursday to hear it. We’ve got you covered.
VH x RR, who made their debut on Vehlinggo Presents: 5 Years in 2019, have refined and strengthened their evocative and darkly beautiful synth-pop with each release cycle. In the wake of a few singles that have already come down the pike, “The Undertow” gives us more hints of the new heights they will reach on the six-track Giants. (Head over to VH x RR’s Bandcamp tomorrow to pre-order the EP in digital and physical formats.)
The Story of On the Shoulders of Giants
On the Shoulders of Giants is the third and final release in VH x RR’s Cosmos Trilogy, which began with The Persistence of Memory and continued with A Sky Full of Ghosts. A Stephen Hawking book celebrating the history of physics and astronomy is where the duo got the name for the third EP. In a statement, they said the new EP expands “the themes and explorations of the two previous EPs to create… new songs that illuminate a world of chaos of beauty.”
Here, in a statement, the duo provide some information behind each song:
- “Shattered Bones” — “A dark, downtempo exploration of social breakdown and the fragility of existence in an indifferent universe.”
- “Slipped” — The song “further explores the theme of loss first introduced in the title track of A Sky Full of Ghosts.”
- “Heavenly Outline” — “Inspired by one night on a Thailand beach, [the song] is an uptempo celebration of taking chances, pushing through fears, and being rewarded with something of unforgettable beauty.”
- “The Undertow” and “The Fray” — Hertzog sees the two cuts as “a sort of yin and yang. I tried to use sonic textures for each that helped lend itself to the subject matter. Where ‘The Undertow’ is meant to sound more submerged and buried, as you fight against it, ‘The Fray’ is meant to sound pristine and above everything else. Clarity was of utmost importance for that track, as I wanted it to sound like it’s floating, almost holographic. Together they work like two sides of the same coin.”
- “Don’t Let Go” is the band’s offering of “something to hold on to in darker times.” Rowe says all it took was hearing Hertzog’s stems (music) and the path forward was clear. “The song practically wrote itself in just a couple of hours. With so many of the songs on the EPs being about some pretty heavy stuff, we thought the hopeful nature of ‘Don’t Let Go’ was the perfect way to end the trilogy.”
On the Shoulders of Giants is available Aug. 11 for pre-order via Bandcamp and will hit the major streamers and digital stores on Sept. 10.