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Artist Of The Month: Eyedress

Artist Of The Month: Eyedress

Welcome to Artist of the Month!

This month we are taking you to Manila, where the humble origins of Idris Vicuña gave birth to the alternative, psychedelic sounds of Eyedress.

The Fillipino artist has been making waves since their solo debut in 2013 with hits such as ‘Jealous’ stuck in everyone’s head since it went viral in 2020. But with a variety of genres under his belt it is hard to define the talent of Eyedress into one style of music alone. Today we discuss the varied discography of one talented individual who any lo-fi lover will want to check out.

Who is Eyedress?

Born in 1990, Eyedress had a colourful experience of travelling whilst growing up, having spent his childhood in the Philippines, Arizona, California, and Los Angeles. The result was one laidback musician with a cool, vibrant sound and a unique indie-pop twist.

Despite his success as a solo artist, he started out in the band scene. His first gig was at age thirteen as a guitarist for crust punk band, The Liberal Underground. Shortly after this followed Claud Winters, an indie rock band. But after moving back to Manila, he found himself with more time to focus on personal music projects. This led to his forming the Bee Eyes with friends he met on MySpace.

But then the band broke up, leaving Vicuña to follow his own musical goals of becoming a solo artist.  Thus, in 2012, Eyedress was born. Performing under a new stage name, Vicuña creates unique dream-like music combined with indie-punk and lo-fi tunes sounds. In Manila he debuted his first solo album Hearing Colors with French indie-pop label Beko alongside Mater Suspiria Vision/Phantasma Disques.

Since then, he has been prolific in producing music that defies music genre limits with mind-bending tunes and lullaby soft vocals. It’s easy to see how the roots of his popularity have grown into such a strong fanbase for the dreamy singer.

According to Eyedress, inspiration can strike from anywhere or anyone – he mentions using his girlfriend Elvia frequently in interviews and the pair wrote ‘Cotton Candy Skies’ about their son, Boaty (as mentioned here). The style of the song is whimsical and dream-like; a far cry from rougher tunes like ‘Separation Anxiety’. The talent of Eyedress comes in his versality – no tune is the same – leaving his genre of music to remain somewhat undefined.

Eyedress freely admits to using his creativity to express himself in all aspects of his musical career, choosing to be involved in everything from videos to merchandise. His and his family’s presence in his work is both verbal and visual, with Elvia and Boaty frequently a focus point in his songs. However, he does include current topics in his work, as seen in ‘Toxic Masculinity’ (2014).

Sound and Musical Influences

The sound of Eyedress varies in such a drastic way it is hard to summarise. His lo-fi style shows through in ‘Nature Trips’ with a dreamlike edge that borders on surrealism. But his earlier tunes like ‘Manila Ice’ have feel almost funky in comparison.

His first solo EP Supernatural has a feel of surrealism that can be described as close to the noises fairies make while collecting dreams. ‘Tokyo Ghost’ in particular stands out with an almost dream-like pace and delicate vocals. But the EP’s final tune, ‘No Competition’ has a vibrant rhythm and sci-fi edge from the synth that is used.

‘Teen Spirits’ released in 2014 takes a the low-fi vibe and combines it with a side of teenage angst that is like grimier synth-wave.

His solo album, released in 2015, is a testament to Eyedress’s unique style – as insinuated by the name Shapeshifter. The album itself is a combination of various styles, including indie-punk, synth-wave, lo-fi, indie-rock, and rap.

‘Jealous’

However, his biggest hit, ‘Jealous’ stands high in his fans’ regards with over 80 million streams on Spotify. On TikTok, the song has been used over a million times. ‘Jealous’ explores how jealousy can take away the joy within a romantic relationship. But even if the lyrics don’t resonate with you, the chill beat instantly relaxes you.

His most recent releases ‘Prada’ (featuring Triathlon) and ‘Brain Dead’ have opposing musical presences. It’s jarring to process that the same artist created both of these songs because of how much they vary in style. Eyedress is indeed a shapeshifter – not contained by one genre but meddling with the best. He can create grime tunes side by side with lo-fi goodness that the soul can sway to.

‘Prada’ is a slower, gradual song with a classic smooth beat that feels reminiscent of girl in red and lo-fi playlists for burning the midnight oil. There is an effortless style to Eyedress that comes across in ‘Prada’ – a calm clarity. The lo-fi music video goes perfectly with the self-indulgent lyrics.

Eyedress seems to have an ethereal feeling in his music that is present in every song of his – no matter how slick or aggressive the beat is. The personal touch is ever present with Eyedress too – his family’s presence in his videos offset the feeling of aloofness made by the song.

‘Prada’ reminds me of his song ‘Romantic Lover’ in the same way that both feel intimate in both video and music. The partnership of the music video and the song itself give the listener a inside view into something that feels deeply personal and romantic. Watch ‘Kiss Me Like It’s The First Time’ to feel the full effect of the music.

Contrastingly, the other record released ahead of Mulholland Drive’s release ‘Braindead’ is radically different in comparison. The song is explicit and loud in comparison with a brutal beat and lyrics yelled out to the audience: ‘There is no superior race. Life is not a fuckin game. Life is not a fuckin race,’ (Eyedress: Braindead 2021). The song feels like a callout to the post-pandemic world. Whatever his reason, Eyedress had reached his limit – that much is clear.

Eyedress’s next album Mulholland Drive is due to be released at the end of summer, but we’ve had a taste with the release of these two tunes.  

Mulholland Drive is out on the 27th of August 2021 from Lex Records.


Listen to Eyedress below:


Written by Perry Wyatt | Illustrated by Georgia Harmey

Last month’s instalment: Band of the Month: GLADES

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