Review – VLMV – Sing With Abandon

“Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words.”Robert G. Ingersoll

Music is infinite, there are notes to come that have not been heard by any human ear yet, music is the one constant that everyone can cling on to and, with all that has happened in the world recently, music is more prominent in our lives than ever before.

VLMV have returned with their third album ‘Sing With Abandon’. The follow up to the acclaimed ‘Stranded, Not Lost’this new album is the result of years of collaboration, experimentation and crafting the music and sounds that make up VLMV.

Joined live by long time collaborator and fellow Code In The Clouder Ciaran Morahan, VLMV deploy loop stations, multiple delay pedals, piano and strings to create a slow-moving, high-flying soundscape of luscious gravitas. 

An ambitious yet concise album, ‘Sing With Abandon’ was born as songwriter and producer Pete Lambrou explored navigating life in the pandemic, multiple lockdowns and a country deciding to break up with its loved ones. Lyrically focused on feelings of isolation and separation, from our shared collective human experience to the deeply personal and everything in between, ‘Sing With Abandon’ touches on the isolation found within the communal experience of a country locked down and in crisis. 

Dreamlike in its beauty and whimsical and wistful in its delivery, this new record is utterly captivating throughout. There are moments of stunning, ethereal brilliance like the plaintive wonder of opening track There Are Mountains Underneath Us, a strikingly elegant piece of music that left me welling up with emotion and the gloriously refined The Navigator with its plaintive piano and sultry, hushed vocals from Anja Madhvani.

Honestly, there is wonder and amazement in every note and every word throughout the criminally short thirty-six minutes running time, the instrumental tracks, If I Could See Your Life Reverse with its edgier, slightly psychedelic feel and Steady Thyself (the first single released from the album) exquisitely sublime in its execution, the piano and strings so achingly beautiful, are moments of pure wonder and calm.

There’s no way to pick any highlights from this album as it flows best if you listen to it in one complete sitting. For Empire bleeds a melancholy emotion throughout, the haunting vocals a particular highlight, the imaginatively titled We Were Landed, We Were Landing Gently We Landed is another graceful instrumental, title track Sing With Abandon has a darker aura to it and Solus Ipse the feel of a babbling brook as its gentle notes and subtle vocal meander their way across your mind.

DearFearHere is impish and almost celestial in the way the ghostly, almost intangible vocals brush your mind while the rarefied, supernal musical notes dance along in unison. The album closes with the luxurious refinement of Our Corners (Reprise), a track that leads you by the hand to a place of calm solitude and reflection.

There are times when you hear a piece of music that leaves you open mouthed in appreciation and, when I first heard ‘Sing With Abandon’ I was utterly stunned. Albums like this are more than mere music, they pervade your very soul, take over your life and almost bring you to tears at their beauty. VLMV have created something so good that it almost becomes a state of mind and I thank Pete Lambrou from the bottom of my heart for doing so.

Released 19th August, 2022

Pre-order from bandcamp here:

Sing With Abandon | VLMV (bandcamp.com)

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