|Vlmv Turn Things Upside Down!|
|15th January 2018|
|Share: Artist Profile|
** …SECOND ALBUM AND EURO TOUR A’COMING! **
a giantly topsy-turvied fierce panda one sheet
The Act: VLMV (fka ALMA the band)
The Release: 'STRANDED, NOT LOST’
The Formats: CD / VINYL / DOWNLOAD / STREAM ALBUM
The Release Date: FEBRUARY 16TH 2018
The Label: FIERCE PANDA RECORDS
The Tracklisting: 1 ‘He Has Already Divided Us’; 2 ‘If Only I’; 3 ‘Among My Quietest Fears’; 4 ‘All These Ghosts’; 5 ‘A Dead Channel Blues’; 6 ‘Stranded, Not Lost’; 7 ‘And There Was Peace In Our Hearts For All The Dark Things That Surrounded Us’; 8 ‘Little Houses’ (feat. Tom Hodge); 9 ‘Lunokhod’; 10 ‘Our Corners’
The Truth: What’s in a name? In the case of VLMV, many oblique things. Ostensibly a self-proclaimed ‘ambient-ish post-something’ duo from the southern extremities of London consisting of Pete Lambrou and Ciaran Morahan, VLMV were recently known as ALMA until several cases of mistaken identity with a green-haired Finnish pop princess necessitated a gentlemanly branding rethink. Now they have – not quite literally – flipped their name upside down and come up with VLMV, which is still pronounced ‘ALMA’, the rebranded twosome are poised to release their sophomore album, ‘Stranded, Not Lost’, on February 16th, to follow brand new single 'If Only I' which can be heard here: smarturl.it/vlmv_ifionly
Bloody lovely it is too, and you can experience much of that loveliness at these European shows here:
19.02 LWL Museum Munster, GER
Recorded and produced by Lambrou at his own Nice Weather For Airstrikes studio in West Sussex and mixed by Todd Howe, ‘All These Ghosts’ was the inaugural single release under the VLMA banner and the first track to be taken from ‘Stranded, Not Lost’ late last year. Happily it recaptures the fragile, fragrant essence of their esteemed debut ‘ALMA’ album in 2015 which hoovered up comparisons to fellow sonic explorers Sigur Ros, Patrick Watson and Explosions In The Sky. Spoiler alert: it’s a little bit sad.
“’Stranded, Not Lost’ is the first album I've written as a whole record, and not just songs that are pieced together to form a sort of ‘Best Of…’ after a certain period,” Lambrou muses. “I built a retreat studio in the basement of my house and buried myself there for a while. I wanted to keep this spatial feel that our previous album had, but create something more intimate. Thematically it's a very inward album, which I haven't really done for a long time. I think you can really hear the isolation in there. It's personal, lonely and regretful.”
The remainder of ‘Stranded, Not Lost’ is a similarly gorgeous and moving journey replete with the kind of brooding, ambient soundscapes, soaring vocals and crashing intensity that have earned the band a small legion of dedicated fans via tours supporting the likes of post-rock luminaries Nordic Giants and by dazzling all and sundry at the likes of the ArcTanGent and Dunk! Festivals. We’re especially taken with the weeping strings of ‘If Only I’, the widescreen honesty of the title track and the momentous foreboding of ‘Lunokhod’ – and not only because the latter is named after a series of Soviet robotic lunar rovers rocketed to the moon in the early ‘70s.
The ice cream van effects-laden ‘Little Houses’ song also sees esoteric composer Tom Hodge rejoining the VLMV troops after his guest spot on the gently extraordinary ‘Reworkings And Remixes’ opus of 2016. This saw the likes of Message To Bears, Evolv, Oli Axel, Neil Milton, Noemi Bolojan and Charlie Barnes from-the-Bastille-live-band dismantling the ‘ALMA’ album and then painstakingly putting it back together in even more abstract shapes.
Such is hushed life with VLMV, once described as sounding like “the background music to an ambient explosion in space”, which is perhaps unsurprising when one considers that as mainstay of Codes In The Clouds and Monsters Build Mean Robots Lambrou’s gently cosmic post-rock provenance is impeccable. Joined by fellow Code In The Cloud dreamer Morahan, VLMV deploy a loop station, multiple delay pedals, a piano and strings to create their slow-moving, high-flying soundscape of luscious gravitas. But don’t take our word for it, read these ones here…
“Building atmospheric and quietly epic soundscapes that creep up on you unannounced….like a beam of light through a dark, cold night.” - Lauren Laverne, BBC6 Music
“Alma create a shimmering soundscape of delicate ethereal beauty. Breath-taking in its scope and evoking imagery of the vastness of space.” – The Independent
“Atmospheric, ambient, complex and meditative.” – CLASH
"Sad, uplifting, haunting, atmospheric and oozing confidence." - flushthefashion