Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Vladimir Vojnović, an independent singer songwriter from Novi Sad, Serbia. His debut studio endeavor, a lengthy nine-track album entitled ‘Micro Universe,’ is set for release on Tuesday, November 1. Is it an album indie music fans will want to make note of and pick up at the beginning of next month? Let’s dig into a selection of tracks from the record and discern how Vojnović stacks up against his musical counterparts.
Though ‘Micro Universe,’ is Vojnović’s debut album, it’s worth noting that he’s a lifelong musician who has been mentored by teachers in an array of music genres. He also has prior experience with other acts. Thus, it seems like ‘Micro Universe’ was a long time in the making. It’s a pretty sharp production, and I’d argue Vojnović’s lifelong build-up to its inception paid off.
I’d probably classify Vojnović as a ‘singer songwriter,’ but there’s a very heavy pop influence in his work. The opening track ‘Only’ introduces the listener to his work with a melodic soundscape drenched in atmospheric reverb and intensity. There are stringed instruments, pianos, synthesizers, acoustic guitars, layers of vocal harmonies, and more.
Vojnović’s presentation as a vocalist is very intense, even passionate in tracks like ‘My Kind of Winter.’ There’s a lot of versatility to his delivery, and he has quite the vocal range, too. The brooding ‘My Kind of Winter’ is some of the stronger songwriting early into the collection. “You come from a place that’s ugly and bitter,” Vojnović croons over a landscape that’s absolutely beautifully composed.
‘Gotta Go’ is another lovely tune, one that chronologs a childhood story about yearning for a neighborhood girl who has to go because her parents are calling her home. It harnesses two unique things: the wonder and frightening prospect of young love, and the helplessness most young people have within it. ‘Heaven’s Gate’ is another track that explores similar sentiments, but also alludes to there perhaps being a faith-based gap between Vojnović and the woman he’s pursuing.
‘Eons’ is the most impressive production of the first six tracks on this record. The composition’s execution is simply stunning, and when Vojnović is accented by synthesized choirs, they so perfectly compliment his presence. ‘Till The Day I Die’ is a pleasant tune as well, though it’s a ballad without the kind of personality of its predecessors. It isn't nearly as compelling.
If these six recordings are indicative of the rest of ‘Micro Universe,’ it’s fair to say that it’s one of the more insightful pop-based efforts in the independent scene this fall. The songwriting is, for the most part, very personal. This makes the work more impactful, and even when Vojnović utilizes synthesized devices that feel aged, his enthusiasm reinvigorates them into a contemporary setting. It’s a record worth checking out if you’re a fan of well-orchestrated pop music with solid lyricism.