I’ve listened to Pictoria Vark’s The Parts I Dread a lot. And the thing that sticks out the most is that this release finally shows a true picture of Pictoria Vark. Even though she might live in the indie rock world, her perspective is different from what’s expected.
Eight songs can either be the perfect amount of songs or it can blur and muddy the introduction. Pictoria released singles from the release and you get a good sense of the entire EP from those songs. I wouldn’t say The Parts I Dread is a low-key album because there is a definite weight that she’s presenting. The full band sound gives songs a broader presentation. “Wyoming” benefits from the full band sound with the blending and mixing of guitar, bass, and drums to support the vocals.
I usually expect growth from release to release, but Pictoria Vark does this on the album itself. The song order adds this give-and-take to the experience. “I Can’t Bike” is a standout song that falls a little more into indie rock and folk and sounds a little simplistic compared to “Wyoming.” It’s hard to find a favorite because every song has its own charm and signature.
Another highlight of The Parts I Dread is the track variety. It doesn’t sit in your face or come across as too quiet where you’re wondering what her perspective is. I do think that “Out” is one of the biggest surprises with its brooding and darker sound. Though I would have liked to hear the bridge with even more of an explosion of sound.
What new listeners might pull from The Parts I Dread is that Pictoria Vark is a result of the places she’s experienced, lived, and grown. What is coming through this generation of artists is that the environment plays a big part in the origins and structure of sound. This is what The Parts I Dread signify. Pictoria shouldn’t separate the influence of where she is in how she composes her music because it makes it sound unique and fresh.
Who knows what to expect with her next release? It could go in a multitude of directions and honestly, we’re just along for the ride. Pictoria’s experience as a touring bassist could also influence her own creations so we’ll just have to wait and see.