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VÄLVĒ - Tiny Pilots

VÄLVĒ are great! I love them! And their second full album release from 2023, is a sonic exploration of imaginary worlds and literary influences, through experimental song forms. All songs were written by Chlöe Herington, except the very last one, written by Maggie Holland.

There are fleeting resemblances ranging from the avant-prog of Henry Cow and Dagmar Krause, to Pere Ubu’s 30 Seconds Over Tokyo to the musique concrète of Harrison Birtwistle’s Chronometer. However, what composer Chlöe Herington particularly brings to VÄLVĒ is a literary sensibility, literary influences: H.E. Bates, W.B. Yeats, Keith Ridgway, the sci-fi of Clive Parker, Phillip Pullman, John Wyndham.

In addition to Chlöe Herington’s lead vocals, soprano sax, electric guitar, electric piano, synths, glockenspiel, and drum machine and Emma Sullivan’s searing and sinuous electric bass, synth, trumpet and backing vocals, the album employs a crack team of special guest musicians: Elen Evans (harp), Craig Fortnam (drums, nylon string guitar, voice), Jo Spratley (vocals), Alex Thomas (drums), Brian Wright (violin, viola), Sam Barton (trumpet), Kavus Torabi (harmonium, voice) and Frank Byng (percussion, voice, mixing).

“Chlöe Herington and Emma Sullivan’s astonishing soundscapes intrigue and aesthetically reward in equal measure. The almost monosyllabic lyrics — invocations of dreams — delivered as subdued declamations have a metronomic quality that punctuates the delicately pulsating, minimalist sound of the accompaniment… …Poetic, politically engaged and engrossing. A masterpiece.” [Morning Star]

Label: Slowfoot / SLOLP039
Artist: VÄLVĒ
Medium: LP
Category: .


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