But it’s so bold, assured, and musically literate, that genre means nothing. Opener Your Way speaks volumes: rhythm, dissonance and voice. Broke Days, Party Nights features the greatest scream in music since Bon Scott mugged bagpipers in Swanston St, while The Price of Living sees Vandal going toe-to-toe with Refused legend Dennis Lyxen. Largely co-written with producer Kidnot, there are no easily-ticked boxes on this 12-track missile from the Sri Lankan (South African raised/Melbourne domiciled) performer.
All music is up for grabs, and her vocal chops star throughout. Future Heroine channels nasty trip hop – even ragamuffin in places. Cassettes, Lies and Videotape is the fulcrum, a sky-high showcase of Vandal’s muscular flow, an effortlessly contemporary screed of complaint against a 24/7 world. Elsewhere, Your Orbit’s intergalactic nu-soul (with Sampa the Great) proves irresistible, before Cold of the World (cue: lovesick lone wolf drives into sunset) essays an anthemic peak.
Ecca Vandal is that rare artist imbued with an unwavering conviction, born of an intimate knowledge of complex self-reality. Procure this soulful riot, play hard, play again.
Ecca Vandal is out October 20 via Dew Process/Universal.
Words Jonathan Alley