TVAM returns aboard a Starline tourbus, peeping through the privets and leering over the fences of the rich and famous with a suspicious, cynical eye. High Art Lite is the debut long-player for Invada Records and is accompanied by new track 'Double Lucifer' which follows the sun-soaked 'Piz Buin'.
Talking about 'Double Lucifer' Joe Oxley, aka TVAM said:
"The cultural constructs of good and evil weigh heavy on us all - If we're brought up to believe in good vs. evil, then I'd like to think most people try to stick to the right path as much as they can. Sometimes we find ourselves at the whim of fate and pushed by unseen influences. Double Lucifer is about those times when there's no right path, only pain... when every outcome ends in harm."
TVAM self-released his much-acclaimed debut Psychic Data in the autumn of 2018, something of a cult-classic, the album joined the dots between Suicide's deconstructed rock 'n' roll, Boards of Canada's irresistible nostalgia and My Bloody Valentine's infinite noise. Psychic Data spawned an 'Album Of The Day' and two daytime playlists at BBC 6Music whilst signature tune 'Porsche Majeure' featured in HBO's smash-hit 'Succession'.
High Art Lite, released on Friday 21st October takes a different tilt to its predecessor by emphasising the immediate and the personal. The colours are blown-out and the brightness is cranked up. TVAM's take on such things as role models, fictional movie character tropes, and fables of good and evil, are all tackled with the same suspicious cynicism but this time with an urgent belief in the human condition.
A heady mix of Black Mirror's modern fables, JG Ballard's gated communities of sun-drenched wealth, and Mulholland Drive's boulevard of broken daydreams, High Art Lite offers an all-inclusive package of redemption.
Whereas his first album focused on the unknown influences over our surrounds and the information that permeates our unconscious, High Art Lite has a wider, more colourful, although no less disconcerting, remit.
According to Oxley, High Art Lite centres upon the stories, characters and beliefs we absorb and how we latch onto these ideas to guide us through our lives.
"It's also about how easy it is to feel so far away from our heroes," Oxley expands. "The weight of our own expectations. The sadness at the core that, as we age, our options narrow, the universe shrinks, and we find ourselves in the shallow end."
Clocking in at just under 40 minutes - the pop music sweet spot - High Art Lite treads a beguiling line between blissful harmonies, crunching noise pop and childlike innocence . The album is both visceral and melancholic, drifting wonderfully across dream pop, shoegaze and synth-pop without ever permanently calling one camp its home.
And while these bold sounds lead the album, the vocals, and the moods they add are just as vital. TVAM describes the fluid textures of the vocals as akin to advertising - they creep in subconsciously, elements shifting into the next, providing an opportunity to reflect upon things without being direct or straightforward.