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)

VLMV SHARE ‘THERE ARE MOUNTAINS (UNDERNEATH US)’ FROM UPCOMING ALBUM 

 

NEW SINGLE ACCOMPANIED BY MOVING FILM FROM CINEMATOGRAPHER GABRIEL STANGER 

 

South ​​London ambient post-rock project VLMV have shared new single ‘There Are Mountains (Underneath Us)’  via Nice Weather For Airstrikes. A moving composition with an accompanying video from acclaimed cinematographer Gabriel Stanger, the song follows previous releases Steady, Thyself, For Empire and The Navigator in anticipation of their album release ‘Sing With Abandon’ next month. Featuring guest vocals from Anja Madhvani (Her Name is Calla) and Claire Knox (A-Sun Amissa), ‘There Are Mountains…’ is a creeping and beautiful piece of music, building carefully and slowly to a triumphant but melancholy crescendo.

London based cinematographer Gabriel Stanger has created an enigmatic video. A beautiful monochrome treatise,  tells the story of mother and son coming together – open for interpretation of their family bond and connection. The serenity in the video fits perfectly with the track, an emotive and poignant video to accompany closure in both music and visual. 

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. 

Formed in early 2015 by songwriter & producer Pete Lambrou (Codes In The Clouds, Monsters Build Mean Robots), VLMV released their debut mini album via Fierce Panda Records in August 2015, along with ‘Remixes & Reworkings’, a digital overhaul of their esteemed debut shortly after. Described as “heartachingly beautiful” by Prog Magazine, VLMV shared the follow up, ‘Stranded, Not Lost, in 2018, earning a nomination at the Prog Awards alongside critical acclaim.  

Hailing from London, VLMV have received widespread praise for their immersive live shows, gaining them slots across the UK and Europe including ArcTanGent, Dunk! Festival, Portals Festival, Post In Paris and many more.

VLMV will play The Lexington, London for their one and only UK headline show this year Friday 26th August. 

‘Sing With Abandon’ will be released August 19th via Nice Weather For Airstrikes and can be pre-ordered now 

There Are Mountains (Underneath Us)’ is out now

Pete Lambrou on ‘ There Are Mountains (Underneath Us)’:

“The album has been a long process for us after delays with session musicians and studio restrictions. We ended up going back and forth; writing and rewriting; taking a step back and coming at it from different angles so it feels comforting to know it’ll be out in the world so soon! The drum beat / synth loop was actually created by happy accident on my Korg ArpOdyssey. After manipulating lots of incoming audio, it spat out a chopped up beat with the tempo of 61.2567bpm. And that was that…”

VLMV RELEASE NEW SINGLE ‘THE NAVIGATOR’ FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM ‘SING WITH ABANDON’

 FEATURING GUEST VOCALS FROM HER NAME IS CALLA’S ANJA MADHVANI 

London ambient post-rock project VLMV have shared new single ‘The Navigator’ via Nice Weather For Airstrikes. His third musical offering of 2022, VLMV mastermind Pete Lambrou has crafted a timeless piece that showcases honesty and self-reflection via lush harmony arrangements and delicate piano lines. The single comes as a follow up to Steady, Thyself and For Empire in anticipation of their summer album release – Sing With Abandon

Listen now: VLMV – The Navigator (Revere Cut) (orcd.co)

 ‘The Navigator’ is organic and slow burning with a crushing, instant sense of nostalgia and vulnerability with soaring guest vocals from Anja Madhvani (Her Name Is Calla). The piano was recorded on Adele’s old touring grand piano at Old Chapel Studios in Chichester whilst bassoon and cello loops were created by recording legato notes and processed through a 4-track, reversed and tape-looped to create endless lo-fi drones. 

 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. 

Formed in early 2015 by songwriter & producer Pete Lambrou (Codes In The Clouds, Monsters Build Mean Robots), VLMV released their debut mini album via Fierce Panda Records in August 2015, along with ‘Remixes & Reworkings’, a digital overhaul of their esteemed debut shortly after. Described as “heartachingly beautiful” by Prog Magazine,, VLMV shared the follow up,  ‘Stranded, Not Lost, in 2018, earning a nomination at the Prog Awards alongside critical acclaim.  

Hailing from London, VLMV have received widespread praise for their immersive live shows, gaining them slots across the UK and Europe including ArcTanGent, Dunk! Festival, Portals Festival, Post In Paris and many more. 

 ‘Sing With Abandon’ will be release on August 19th via Nice Weather For Airstrikes and can be pre-ordered now 

‘The Navigator’ is available now

 Pete Lambrou on ‘Sing With Abandon’:

“This album is founded on feelings of isolation and separation that lockdown had on each of us – both on a personal and on a human race level. We’d become a nation – a world-divided. And although I hadn’t tried to represent that in album form, these things tend to slip out. I could never sit down and write a song about the state-of-the-world, but I believe that if you don’t try and force it, whatever is there deep down, will come to the surface in some way.”

 

VLMV SHARE WITH NEW SINGLE ‘FOR EMPIRE (REVERE CUT)’

 AMBIENT POST-ROCK PROJECT TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM ‘SING WITH ABANDON’ THIS SUMMER  

VLMV have shared new single ‘For Empire (Revere Cut)’, the first from their forthcoming album ‘Sing With Abandon’. Scheduled for release in August, ‘Sing With Abandon’ is the follow up to 2018’s acclaimed full-length ‘Stranded, Not Lost’ and the result of years of collaboration, experimentation and crafting the music and sounds of VLMV.
The follow up to  instrumental teaser ‘Steady Thyself’, For Empire (Revere Cut)’ is the first single to emerge from the upcoming record. A slow-burning commentary on a post-brexit world and rooted in the harsh feeling of isolation that only grew as the world began locking down in 2020, ‘For Empire’ finds VLMV’s Pete Lambrou off-setting the songs darker subject matter with the beautiful, awe-inspiring compositions he has become known for. Beginning with Pete performing alone, the songs blossoms with gripping, layered vocals and soaring strings as Lambrou makes the songs great declaration-  “I was building something to turn this boat around’. 

 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. 

Formed in early 2015 by songwriter & producer Pete Lambrou (Codes In The Clouds, Monsters Build Mean Robots), VLMV released their debut mini album via Fierce Panda Records in August 2015, along with ‘Remixes & Reworkings’, a digital overhaul of their esteemed debut shortly after.  Described as “a beam of light through a dark, cold night” by Lauren Laverne, VLMV shared the follow up,  ‘Stranded, Not Lost, in 2018, earning a nomination at the Prog Awards alongside critical acclaim.  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. Hailing from London, the duo have received widespread praise for both their records and their incredible live show thanks to heavy touring in the UK and Europe. VLMV have taken to the stage at ArcTanGent, Dunk! Festival, Portals Festival, Post In Paris and many more. 

 ‘Sing With Abandon’ will be release on August 19th via Nice Weather For Airstrikes and can be pre-ordered now
‘For Empire’ is available now

 Pete Lambrou on ‘For Empire (Revere Cut)’:“The intro drones were single legato cello notes recorded and then processed through my old Portastudio 4-track, reversed, delayed and put back together! Not all the songs from the album were written in the midst of lockdown. A couple were performed live on the last tour before the pandemic hit, including For Empire. But their roots are in the aftermath of Brexit, and this feeling of abandonment I’d felt throughout, and then the realisation that your neighbours aren’t who you thought they were.”

Listen now:

https://vlmv.bandcamp.com/track/for-empire-2

 

VLMV RETURN WITH NEW TRACK ‘STEADY THYSELF’ – AMBIENT POST-ROCK PROJECT TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM ‘SING WITH ABANDON’ THIS SUMMER 

VLMV have returned with their first new music since 2018 with ‘Steady Thyself’ and announced their third album ‘Sing With Abandon’, scheduled for release in August. 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.

 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. 

To mark the announcement of this new album, VLMV have shared ‘Steady Thyself’ – The first look at what’s to come, ‘Steady Thyself’ is a soaring and captivating instrumental, centred on a delicate piano arrangement, a tantalising glimpse at the compelling sonic universe VLMV have created on their third outing. 

Formed in early 2015  by songwriter & producer Pete Lambrou (Codes In The Clouds, Monsters Build Mean Robots), VLMV released their debut mini album via Fierce Panda Records in August 2015, along with ‘Remixes & Reworkings’, a digital overhaul of their esteemed debut shortly after.  Described as “a beam of light through a dark, cold night” By Lauren Laverne, VLMV shared the follow up,  ‘Stranded, Not Lost, in 2018, earning a nomination at the Prog Awards alongside critical acclaim.  

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. 

Hailing from London, the duo have received widespread praise for both their records and their incredible live show thanks to heavy touring in the UK and Europe. VLMV have taken to the stage at ArcTanGent, Dunk! Festival, Portals Festival, Post In Paris and many more. 

 ‘Sing With Abandon’ will be released on August 19th via Nice Weather For Airstrikes and can be pre-ordered now

‘Steady Thyself’ is available now

Pete Lambruo on ‘Sing With Abandon’:

“The album has been a long process for us after delays with session musicians and studio restrictions. We ended up going back and forth; writing and rewriting; taking a step back and coming at it from different angles. ‘Steady Thyself’ was actually written as a synth sequence in its first inception. It was very different to the final piano version after PLENTY of tweaks and rewrites. It’s not a quick overnight record, it’s taken time and I think that’s reflected in the album itself. It’s something to completely immerse yourself in.”

VLMV European Tour Fall 2019

Fresh off the back of a short run of UK shows with Charlie Barnes, VLMV have announced their Autumn / Fall 2019 tour, which sees the band visit some Cities and Countries for the first time. 

VLMV bring their slow build cinematic soundscape alongside an ambient backdrop of flickering lights and glitching visuals to Czechia, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Belgium and The Netherlands this Fall.

As live shows go, VLMV’s is something very unique, atmospheric and intimate. The London duo hardly ever play traditional venues, and vere towards ‘interesting spaces’. Last year they crammed into Prague’s tiny ‘Haenke’ botanical shop and gallery, and this time around they play Pruh – an abandoned limestone quarry in Slovenia.

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 reaches of London, VLMV were recently known as ALMA until several cases of mistaken identity with a green-haired Finnish pop princess necessitated a gentlemanly branding rethink.

Formed in 2015 and fronted by songwriter Pete Lambrou, VLMV released their debut mini album via Fierce Panda Records in August 2015, along with ‘Remixes & Reworkings’, a digital overhaul of their esteemed debut album, shortly after, and more recently 2018’s ‘Stranded, Not Lost’.

Joined by 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 which has been described by The Independent as “Breath-taking in its scope and evoking imagery of the vastness of space…a shimmering soundscape of delicate ethereal beauty.”

Quite fittingly, VLMV take their name from the Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array – “a really bloody powerful telescope”.

Tour dates 2019

21.09  (A)void Floating Gallery Prague CZE

22.09  A und V Leipzig DEU

24.09  Heppel & Ettlich Munich DEU

25.09  Hole of Fame Dresden DEU

26.09  Werk X-Petersplatz Vienna AUT

27.09  Stadtwerkstatt Linz AUT

28.09  Pruh Zgornja Kungota SVN

29.09  In Between Books Sessions Bratislava SVK

30.09  Secret Show Budapest HUN

01.10    clubCANN Backstage, Stuttgart DEU

02.10   Alter Schlachthof Eupen BEL

03.10   Muziekgieterij Maastricht NLD

“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

This is the perfect record to look up at our immense sky at night and wonder what’s out there” – Music & Riots

http://www.vlmv.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/vlmvband

Review – VLMV – Stranded Not Lost – by James R. Turner

Genres, funny things aren’t they? It seems that as human beings we are happiest when we can look at, listen to or read something and think yes, that definitely belongs in that category. Label it nicely and then go have a beer.

There seems to be something within us that isn’t satisfied until we’ve exhausted all the permutations and decided that x, y or indeed z fits into that little category, and woe betide it if it tries to escape the little box.

That is the only reason why I can think of a certain type of listener or internet commentator exists, you all know the one’s I mean, The ones who aren’t satisfied until they’ve proven beyond reasonable doubt that so and so is ‘prog’ and won’t listen to anything that doesn’t fit into their little boxes.

Well, gentlemen (and it is always gentlemen), let me tell you, life is so much more fulfilling when you step out of your little comfort bubble and not just listen to the music that falls between the boxes, but start living your life outside the boxes.

This is where haunting duo VLMV (pronounced ALMA) from London come in, their second album ‘Stranded Not Lost’ is released on Friday 16th February, formed by Peter Lambrou and joined by Ciaran Morahan, VLMV specialise in the sort of post rock ambient soundscapes and haunting ethereal melodies that fit outside the traditional musical box, occupying the same universe as artists like Explosions in the Sky or Bristol improv group Jilk.

This is music Jim, but not as we know it, whilst the psychedelic warriors of the late 60’s & 70’s pushed the barriers by going in search of space and beyond, this is the opposite, this is emotive, expansive and introspective music.

The sort of thing that No-Man used to do quite well, and which VLMV do with great skill, is the art of the slow build, the sonic build and soundscapes where the space between the noise is as important as the noise, with songs like the hauntingly beautiful All These Ghosts (which is the lead single from the album) it’s atmospheric stark soundscapes, mixed with the steel guitar picking and some emotive lyrics bring this ballad to life, and it’s this juxtaposition of music as big as the universe, and lyrics as close as your deepest thoughts that are part of what makes this album so effective.

With a sonic palette that brings real warmth to what initially seems to be icy and stark (the aural equivalent of a long country walk on a frozen landscape) the warmth, the depth and the humanity that is teased out through these songs grows and delights.

The opening instrumental mood setting He Has Already Divided Us, with it’s enigmatic title leads us brilliantly into the album, where songs like the title track, with it’s alt country guitar, big orchestration, and vocals reminiscent of an OK Computer Era Radiohead crossed with Josh Rouse, is one of the most affecting tracks on the album. It’s beautiful lyrics, haunting melodies and beautiful string work complement the guitar and synths perfectly. The barely restrained vocal performance and musical accompaniment suggest repressed emotion fighting to get out, and I think it’s one of the most beautiful and evocative pieces of music I have heard so far this year.

Evocative is the word that keeps coming up again when listening to this album, it has the widescreen feel of a soundtrack for a British Indie movie that hasn’t been made yet, I can see the main characters falling apart in the pouring rain on an anonymous street in a big city to the heartstring pulling and piano and string laden And There Was Peace in Our Time, breaking down as the music builds up, the blend of strings and synths is pure class, the melody filling the speakers as it soars beautifully. This is strong stuff, and really gets into you, especially if you listen on your headphones on the commute to work.

It’s not often that music conjures up such vivid imagery for me, not even powerful instrumental stuff, but this hits the spot every time, its power is in its simplicity, and that runs through the album. These are all well crafted, well thought out and beautifully executed songs, with space to grow and room to breath.

Guest vocalist Tom Hodge joins in on the brilliant Little House, which again reflects on the personal with some more of that fantastic guitar and synth work. The beauty on this is giving space to the vocals, focusing on the everyday, the real concerns of individuals. Where the space within the music is as important as the music. There are no overblown histrionics here nothing so crass is required. This is music in its purest form, no notes wasted, no unnecessary pieces. Every song has what it needs and nothing more, and this economy of sound, and distillation down to the purest emotion is what makes this album so affecting, especially on tracks like the ambient Lunokhod.

Having gone from never hearing of VLMV before, I will now be visiting their bandcamp site to order my copies of their earlier work and I strongly recommend that on Friday when this album hits the streets, you hit their bandcamp site, have yourself a listen and get into some seriously great music.

Released 16th February 2018

Order ‘Stranded Not Lost’ from bandcamp in all formats

 

 

 

 

 

VLMV ANNOUNCE UK/EU HEADLINE TOUR – NEW ALBUM ‘STRANDED NOT LOST’ DUE FEBRUARY 2018 ON FIERCE PANDA

South London duo VLMV will release their debut album ‘Stranded, Not Lost’ on February 16th, the follow up to their 2016 mini-album which garnered the self-proclaimed “ambient-ish, post-something” outfit praise from the likes of Lauren Laverne, The Independent, Killing Moon, London in Stereo and more.

These previous releases have earned the band tours with post-rock stalwarts Nordic Giants and New Zealand trio Jakob as well as performances at festivals across Europe where their live show, a blend of the delicate, emotional vocals of Keaton Henson, the compositional beauty of Olafur Arnalds and a touch of the crashing and climactic soundscapes of Sigur Ros & Explosions In The Sky have wowed and hushed audiences all over the continent.

The band, up until recently, known as ALMA (until several cases of mistaken identity with the BBC Sound of 2018 nominee necessitated a branding rethink) have announced their new album ‘Stranded, Not Lost’ is to be released on Fierce Panda on the 16th February 2018. A collection of 10 new compositions from the band that perfectly recaptures the fragile, fragrant essence of their esteemed debut ‘ALMA’ album which hoovered up comparisons to fellow explorers Sigur Ros, Patrick Watson and Explosions in The Sky.

‘Stranded, Not Lost’ is a gorgeous and moving record replete with the kind of brooding, ambient soundscapes, soaring vocals and crashing intensity that have earned the band a small legion of dedicated fans and a fearsome live reputation.

The band, which was formed in 2015 by songwriter Pete Lambrou have been 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 Cloudser Ciaran Morahan, VLMV deploy a loop station, multiple delay pedals, a piano and strings to create a slow-moving, high-flying soundscape of luscious gravitas.

When asked about the new album, VLMV’s Pete Lambrou said: Stranded, Not Lost is the first album I’ve written as a whole album, and not just songs that are pieced together to form a sort of best of after a certain period. 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 band have also announced a set of UK & EU Tour dates in support of the album:

  • 19/02 – LWL Museum – Munster
  • 20/01 – Le caf & Diskaire – Lille
  • 21/02 – Galerie vom Zufall und vom Glück – Hanover
  • 22/02 – Plama -Gdansk
  • 23/02 – It’s a Bar – Berlin
  • 24/02 – Mózg Club – Warsaw
  • 25/02 – Noch Besser Leben – Leipzig
  • 26/02 – NoD – Prague
  • 27/02 – Andel Music Bar – Plzeñ
  • 28/02 – Le Farmer – Lyon
  • 01/03 – Pole Sud – Saint-Vincent-de-Tryosse
  • 02/03 – BeGood – Barcelona
  • 03/03 – Convent Garden – San Sebastien
  • 04/03 – Mami Txula – Bayonne
  • 16/03 – Archspace – London (Album Launch Show)
  • 22/03 – Glad Cafe – Glasgow
  • 23/03 – The Fox & Newt – Leeds
  • 24/03 – Dubrek Studios – Derby
  • 25/03 – Prince Albert – Brighton