Based in Leeds, Ava in the Dark are a glossy synth pop/rock outfit led by the duo of Kiera Bickerstaff and Tommie James. Taking influence from a range of contemporary artists from the indie pop and rock spheres – including Pale Waves, Pvris, Nothing But Thieves, and Wolf Alice to name a few – the band set about creating their own glossy brand of pop that they describe as being “about female empowerment, existentialism in the modern era, and all things dark“. As if that’s not a manifesto worth getting behind in itself, they also add “dressed in shimmering indie pop rock” into the equation.
And that’s exactly what Delete Us Forever sounds like. Opening with a burbling arpeggiated synth straight out of 1986, the song sets out its stall early on with a driving beat and synth bass. Layers of synths swirl around, providing the perfect foundation for Bickerstaff’s confident, airy vocals. Her voice is strong, switching from reserved verses to the soaring chorus with flawless ease. The production is really clean too; lending the whole track a high gloss pop sheen that sounds, well, bombastic. To my ears, it’s kind of like Carly Rae Jepsen fronting Bon Jovi, playing a 1975 track in the style of The Killers – a point hammered home when the song breaks down for its middle 8 and then proceeds to launch into a full-on Richie Sambora-esque solo. It’s a mix that is both full of ridiculous confidence (Ava in the Dark seem to be writing songs to reach back rows in auditoriums everywhere) as well as being completely, utterly infectious. Not bad for a song that is essentially a big, shimmering, bittersweet kiss off to to a former love. “I remember our last kiss / Delete you forever / Delete me forever / Delete us forever.” It’s practically impossible not to get swept up in the momentum as the song blazes through its four-minutes-and-nine-seconds.
On the evidence of Delete Us Forever alone, Ava in the Dark are a real force to be reckoned with. Currently they have three other singles on Spotify too – all of which show different facets to what they offer. If they can keep up this level of quality over a whole LP then it’s going to be something quite special. In short: great songwriting, spotless production, and – with Kiera Bickerstaff’s voice – amazing vocals. Check it out below.
* This track was discovered via Musosoup. A small fee was paid in exchange for publication. See ‘About / Contact’ page for more details.