Victor Internet Credit: Roger Gallegos

For those who frequent the spaces where Chicago’s hip-hop, indie-pop, and dance scenes converge, the title of Victor Internet’s latest release, last month’s EP Victor’s Debut, will seem like a misnomer. Known to his family as Victor Cervantes, he launched his grassroots music career a little more than two years ago, uploading romantic bedroom-pop songs to Soundcloud. In early 2017, when he was just 17, he sold out of the first run of a self-released CD-only EP called Glitter98. And this year has been even bigger for him: this summer, Cervantes landed a midtier slot at the fifth annual Ruido Fest, opened a few tour dates for young Latinx bedroom-pop maven Cuco, and started releasing music (including Victor’s Debut) through Universal-distributed indie label Terrible, which has also worked with Miya Folick, Kirin J. Callinan, Solange, and Empress Of. The new EP makes a great calling card for Cervantes, showcasing his spellbinding ability to write songs that ooze with longing and seamlessly blend electronic pop, indie rock, and hip-hop—a fusion that feels like an extension of his musical interests, not a calculated attempt to maximize his audience. Cervantes could probably just reduce a couple of his songs to templates, repeat versions of them ad infinitum, and ride that out successfully, but fortunately he seems to earnestly want to find creative new ways to explore the nuances of heartache, romance, and societal anxiety. When he pitch-shifts his bittersweet vocals down on “Unfair,” combining them with a lonesome key melody and speedy breakbeat, he sticks the landing so well you’ll wonder how you ever made a playlist without him.   v