Couples Counseling is the electronic project of Philadelphia-based Virginia De Las Pozas. Last year, she put out her debut release under the name, and it’s seriously, seriously great — go listen to it right now if you haven’t already. It’s the perfect mix of experimental and poppy electronica, warm and inviting and occasionally intensely, insularly sad. Highlights include the twinkling opening track “hope u nevr hear this” and the closing 12-minute opus “fiftyseven,” which cycles through everything that makes this project so appealing. De Las Pozas’ voice has the same kind of allure as Purity Ring’s Megan James in places, if hers were taut out and slowed down a few times over. Whereas James can make you feel big even when she sounds small, Couples Counseling always feels compact and constricted. It’s music to get lost with, to get lost in.
Since the release of couples counseling, things have been pretty quiet: outside of a contribution to The Le Sigh Vol. II compilation and a one-off from earlier this month, De Las Pozas hasn’t put out anything until yesterday, when she dropped a new EP called self service. On the whole, it’s more abrasive than her debut, but she still finds the same kind of immured beauty in the chaos. Take the decaying “mk1″ or its followup, “finger trap,” which is the track that comes closest to the sound on her debut, mashing it up against some ghostly choral wails. All of it’s great, though, showing off the same ear for melody that made couples counseling such a special listen. Probably my favorite of its kind since Katie Dey’s debut from earlier this year. Check it out below.
self service is out now.