Villi V “Constellation High” (SINGLE)

As indebted as the song and perhaps the artistry of the man who created it for us is to the Canadian-born country of yesteryear, there’s something rather transcendent about the vocal in “Constellation High” that makes singer/songwriter Vili V all the harder to pigeonhole in this all-new single. Although there’s a certain hipster irony to the lyrical narrative, there isn’t a moment of this performance that sounds like it was forced or devoid of authentic emotionality.


Simply put, the aesthetics might have a cosmopolitan feel, but the substance of the statements made by Vili here are entirely homespun and bucolic. I’ve heard my fair share of intriguing rockabilly cuts this spring, but this is one of the more surprisingly warm tunes to land on my desk.

“Constellation High” benefits from a self-aware lyrical premise that you don’t need a Ph.D. in poetry to break down, but I like that it isn’t so straightforward as to disguise its bones beyond mainstream accessibility. There’s something to be said about the simplistic structure Vili is utilizing in this piece, and really how well he’s going about expressing an elaborate passion through such barebones means. It’s inspiring to see someone going black and white in an age of decadence almost everywhere we look, and I think other Canadian rock enthusiasts will agree.

There’s an honest tone to every part of this single, and I would argue that were the production quality not of a more stripped-down style, this tone might not have been as easily conveyed as it is in this instance. Rather than Vili trying to be fanciful with his words or the melodic trappings framing them in this performance, he’s getting plaintive and sticking with a very unintimidating demeanor to acquire as much of our attention as can be nabbed from inside of a recording studio. He had me from verse one, and likely many other critics as well.

The beat here is a little uneasy in spots, but never over the top with the mild discourse it imparts to the arrangement. Vili does a good job of separating his cadence with that of the strings just enough to add a bit of eccentricity into the fold, and while this could be deemed unnecessary by some, it’s just the hint of versatility I think he needed to sound like a modern experimentalist in “Constellation High.” Others might flirt with the untried, but this is a player who goes out and tries it.


Fleshing out the intricacies of one’s artistic persona is never the easiest of tasks to contend with, but for a singer/songwriter as gifted as Vili V is, it produces results like “Constellation High.” This is a highly melodic rockabilly track that bears enough of its soul and rustic harmonies to qualify as an old-school Canadian country number, but no matter what you describe its core artistic construct as this is one single that will leave just about anyone within earshot swooning over the vocal and verses Vili presents in its few minutes of simple pleasure.

Mark Druery