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 newly BBC Sound of 2018 nominated green-haired Finnish pop star necessitated a branding rethink.
With that change in place the band are preparing to release their new album Stranded Not Lost in February 2018. With that in mind they composed the below playlist based on their influences.
Over to VLMV
Max Richter – Dream 3 (In The Midst of My Life)
When I started writing for this album I wanted to make a more sparse and exposed record, compared to our previous, and a lot more piano led. Max Richter’s music is wonderfully patient and simple, but it’s also all about the recording for me – I can pick anything by him and the rich quality of recording and production is incredible. I was listening to this album a lot when I started writing for Stranded and it still sounds so satisfying and patient, it does exactly what he set out to do.
Peter Broderick – A Glacier
Another track with a lot of patience, and it’s that kind of execution that really does it for me. It’s the way the strings and piano seem to be breathing in and out, and in no rush. It’s a relatively old track considering he’s had a handful of albums out since, but this is the one I always go back to.
Joanna Newsome – Divers
At the same time as writing and recording the album I was building a studio, and really exploring production techniques. I love a dry and intimate close up vocal – and more than anything else the vocal recordings that Joanna Newsome has had throughout her career still amaze me. She’s obviously an amazing talent, but this in particular was all about the recording and production for me.
Keaton Henson – Alright
The fragile-ness of the performance on this and any Keaton Henson track is always emotive, but it’s the regretful and slightly jealous sentiment in this song married with a familiar sounding chord progression and melody that combine so well. There’s something in the nostalgia of a regretful memory told in a familiar way that I think makes this sound more sincere if anything. It’s a delicate balance that he gets right here, although it took me a few listens. To record something so exposed and fragile isn’t easy and can definitely sound false or over the top.
Sufjan Stevens – Should Have Known Better
I could pick any of the tracks from Carrie & Lowell but this one just captures his hopeful side on what is I think a very unhopeful record. I was listening to this on repeat when I began planning the new album and even though musically I would say it might not be obvious he’s been a big influence on this album.
Piano Interrupted – Vieux
We had the pleasure of working with Tom (Hodge) on a track for the album ‘Little Houses’, after he reworked ‘The Lighthouse’ on our previous Remixes album. Tom’s an insanely gifted musician, and one of the hardest working people I’ve met. Piano Interrupted mix electronica with live piano so well and it’s always inspiring to see them.
Nils Frahm – Familiar
I wanted to make a more sparse album with a lot more piano than the first, and there’s not many better than Nils Frahm at this.
A Winged Victory For The Sullen – Atomos V
Not only is this a wonderful track and album, but again for me a lot of it is about sound quality. I was really thinking about that whilst making the album, the importance of it especially when you are creating something quite sparse. Sonically all AWVFTS stuff just works perfectly and can be expansive and spatial at once.
Lucy Claire – Voices of The Sea
Lucy composed the string parts for our debut album, and we’ve worked together a lot in the last few years. She’s been a huge influence and I’ve been lucky enough to hear her new album which I’m hoping will be out fairly soon!
Yndi Halda – Together Those Leaves
We’ve played a few post rock festivals and often get put under that banner, so it’d only be right to include one of my all-time favourites. This came out as I began writing the album, and I still can’t get enough of it.
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