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  • Alexa Leung

Review: "Ultraviolet" - Lenka

“Ultraviolet” is the focus track of Lenka’s latest album “Intraspectral”. With synth and electropop vibes, this song is also meant to bookend the album’s themes– it’s about reaching further than a safe and simple life and expanding far past those boundaries to keep your life full of color. “Ultraviolet” highlights the importance of embracing life for the sake of life: you should never be satisfied by the grays and muted tones and never stop aiming for the entire spectrum. Take chances! Love life! Don’t be constrained by safety and welcome every opportunity that comes your way. "Ultraviolet" is one of those songs that you listen to and feel like everything will be alright after. Be comforted by the twinkling strings and synth, and also be encouraged and uplifted by Lenka's mesmerizing songwriting.

“Ultraviolet” begins with a shimmering harp and immediately leads into a pulsing synth. I love how the synth remains rather understated compared to other electropop songs– it is gentle yet supportive when juxtaposed against the song’s other instrumentals. The glittering harp and Lenka’s vocals are complimented by it as opposed to being overpowered, which make for a lovely balance between all of them. The lyrics of “Ultraviolet” are also very poetic; Lenka entwines frequency and color and emotion to create a landscape of shifting rainbows. These rainbows give way to metaphors that make for beautiful imagery-- life as a spectrum, a continuum, full of peaks and valleys and a range of colors that not everyone can see but certainly feel in their frequencies, way down in their bones. Perhaps my favorite part of the song is when the instrumentals and lyrics line up to form a beautiful moment; at the 2:20 mark the chorus ramps up and Lenka sings, “Show me the spectrum as a/more than the spectrum as a whole” as the synth swells to its zenith. From there, the synth slowly tapers off and the harp glitters once more. It's just such an ethereal way to end a song that is all about loving life for the sake of life.

Previously a member of the Australian electronic-rock crossover band Decoder Ring, Australian singer-songwriter Lenka Kripac eventually went solo and moved to California to begin her musical career anew. Known for her playful optimism, Lenka’s songwriting has a bright and hopeful vibe to it that has followed her throughout her life from Decoder Ring to now. Her music has been featured in television shows such as “Ugly Betty” and “Grey’s Anatomy”, as well as being in commercials for Microsoft and Coca Cola. Her debut single “The Show” dropped in 2008 to massive success, and was featured in a variety of films and advertisements; it was also the first single of her debut album “Lenka”, which was also released in 2008. “Intraspectral” is Lenka’s latest album and “Ultraviolet” is the perfect closer for an already fantastically evocative album full of songs that are uplifting and inspiring.

Written By Alexa Leung


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