by trevor elkin
photo: evan xiner hong
Here’s a thought: what if, at that first, heart-stopping flush of love that you feel when you meet someone special for the first time, you could capture and preserve the moment forever? It’s not something you can do on your phone or with a camera – although feelings sometimes flood back when you flick through photos, they’re not the same. What would the world be like if we never forgot what brought us together – different, or the same?
If there’s even an answer to that, then we’re pretty certain Aüva are on the quest to find it. Their self-titled debut album sparkles from the light of a thousand shooting stars, providing a momentary lift up to the heavens. If you didn’t know they were from Boston, you might hazard a guess that this sextet takes inspiration from the lapping Californian surf for its close-harmony, psychedelic, sunshine folk. They say they sing “sweet and sad songs about friends and lovers”, but this description doesn’t really cut the surface of an album that is rooted in deep human connections, creating a nostalgia for Summer Of Love for a generation that has only seen grainy Super 8 show reels.
Like a warm hug, ‘Ruby’ brilliantly epitomises all that, with the rallying chorus “where would I be without you / I’ll be there to pull you through”. And, when love goes wrong, as on the jangling canter of ‘Better’, or the more doleful ‘Gloom’, Aüva prefer understanding and forgiveness over bitterness and revenge. ‘Recollections’ and ‘Sunburn’, subtly draw us into a more mindful place, travelling without moving through the possibilities of a different world, without fear or hate. Most importantly, though, the weight of this never distracts from the music, which continues to be propelled upwards by the graceful vocal movement of Miette Hope, Jake Levine and Jack Markwordt.
Streaming below, ‘Aüva’ will sink into your pores like sweet sunlight, and you’ll want feel its glow all day long.
‘Aüva’ is out now, on Bandcamp