Here at Vanyaland, we love to create new genre labels for the evolving hybrid sounds we’re exposed to on a daily basis. But Los Angeles artist R E L has created her very own that could be applied to only certain types of music — and especially her own.
Born Arielle Sitrick, the 23-year-old has coined the term “evoca-pop” combining “evocative” and “pop” as a way to describe the music she creates, what she describes as music that dances in tandem with melody and feeling, “a sensory experience: Love, light and magic.” Today (February 22) she offers up two enchanting alt-pop gems in “Back To The River” and “Masquerade”, two textured electronic-pop compositions that bring compassion to the forefront of a young person’s struggles in 2019.
“Music can heal,” R E L tells Vanyaland. “I’ve chosen to make a three-side album to address each phase of healing as its own story and as part of a bigger story. I developed anorexia at a very young age (7) and struggled with it for many years. Side A tells the story of a first stage of healing — facing the problem, realizing you’ve been hurting yourself. Self-compassion is the first step towards peace.”
And she believes that breaking free of barriers and defining her art on her own terms is another step in the process. “I grew up in the suburbs, where we tried so hard to fit the molds,” she adds. “We hurt ourselves, hated ourselves, fucked ourselves over. I did it for a long time. It hurt… and it doesn’t just exist in suburbs. We do it everywhere. Music is medicine. It’s powerful. Love heals, melody carries, lyrics speak the heart.”