Vallis Alps debut Cleave arrives
PRAISE FOR Vallis Alps
3. Turn It Around
5. For Once
6. Start Again
7. I’m On My Way
8. Everything All You See
10. You & I
11. All The Worlds
12. On Highways (aug 4)
Cleave LP by Vallis Alps is out now, buy/stream it here.
Five years in the making, Vallis Alps today share their anticipated debut album Cleave. Meaning to cling to and to sever from, Cleave is an album between opposites made from the acts of cleaving in Parissa and David’s lives. Emblematic of the tribulations of the past that must be cleaved to progress towards a mutual future, the album weaves together the two halves of Vallis Alps – contrasting forces – to shift from states of turbulence and friction to a flourishing partnership. LISTEN + PURCHASE HERE.
Of the occasion, Vallis Alps share, “This album was made over continents, through a broken (then repaired) friendship, a pandemic, us growing and morphing as individuals and as a band. We have poured every emotion and conversation into this album – a dream of ours to always make.” In celebration, the band recently launched a competition with Fender in support of the Asylum Seekers Centre. With any purchase of a Vallis Alps sticker pack, you enter the draw to win a special one-of-one custom Vallis Alps Fender® Player Stratocaster® guitar valued up to $1600. The competition closes on August 31 with all sticker proceeds donated to the Asylum Seekers Centre, which provides help for people seeking asylum and advocates for fair and humane policies for refugees and those seeking asylum. PURCHASE + READ MORE HERE.
The project of Parissa Tosif and David Ansari arrives with a tasteful nod to the ahead-of-their-time trailblazers from Vallis Alps’ come up (Chrome Sparks, Shlohmo, Baths), against a keen ear for the future. Abound with notes of KUČKA and Pretty Girl’s digital soul to Surusinghe and Flume’s clanging percussion, Cleave is as sonically diverse as the stories that unfurl throughout its twelve tracks. Most notably through their recent singles ‘You & I’, the assertive ‘Higher Than This‘ and ‘Start Again’ to the anthemic ‘Set It Off, Set It Right’ and ‘On The Eve Of The Rush‘, Vallis Alps balance the affecting with club-thumping. Channeling the affliction of a Joji ballad with the slow-burn smash of Glass Animals and Biig Piig, closer today than ever before, Vallis Alps unveil a unique prism of electro-pop with the release of their debut album.
Cleave extrapolates Parissa and David’s friendship and siblinghood as a whole in the wake of their near creative dissolution. Since first meeting at age 18 and learning to write music together, Parissa and David could never have anticipated the viral explosion of their debut EP. Their close-knit friendship provided a source of stability and certainty amongst all their disbelief, and as they would go on to experience the peaks and pitfalls of living alongside each other, side-by-side with their achievements as Vallis Alps – from international festivals to sold-out headline shows – their personal relationship became burnt out. As they matured and defined their identities, the pair saw opposing personalities begin to emerge and writing their debut album across timezones on opposite sides of the world would only exacerbate those differences.
So far from one another physically, small disagreements and differing opinions on production and lyrics turned into near irreconcilable arguments. Their frustration so pent up to the point where external mediation was sought to salvage the album and their own abilities to persist. Through these difficult conversations, Vallis Alps found empowerment in the duality and contrast of their relationship; a strength in their individual personalities that triggered lyrics written about intention, patience, fear, love, and siblinghood. Soon they realised that reflections of their own friendship, learnings, and values that guided them through the trials and tribulations of their lives had manifested themselves in their debut album.
What underpins Cleave deeper than David and Parissa’s interpersonal relationship, though, is the Baha’i teaching, “Let deeds not words be our adorning.” Throughout, Cleave is an album of reckoning from the precipice of action. An emotional interpolation of coming to terms with multiple realities: that life festers in the face of stagnation; of the weight that comes with seeking truth in a world that’s lying; and that which we act in life’s challenges propels us forward (or sideways). Threaded by a search for truth – an elusive and protected beast – and forage for courage from within, the result is the two-piece’s most expansive and personal release yet in the overarching sentiment, “We’re not what we’re made of but what we give to the world.”
Speaking to the record’s genesis, Vallis Alps reveal “A thread connecting the songs on the album is the idea of being equally patient with the joy as well as the sorrow in life. Essentially, the songs live in the realm of the pursuit of contentment as opposed to happiness. That strength is the search for contentment, stability, transcending the current feeling, rising above these emotions, feeling them entirely, and then being content with the reality of being human. We keep coming back to the idea of a botanist. Taking care of, and working through many emotional moments that need pruning. It’s like active gardening of the soul and mind and how that process looks. Even the yearning, even the pain is valuable: don’t throw it all away.”
Cleave expands today with new learnings in the downtrodden ‘Turn It Around’, highlighting the power in taking the blame and steps forward to forgiveness; ‘Emphemera’, an autotune-verbed, ‘Woods’ adjacent consideration of the choice to migrate; ‘For Once’, an apologetic homecoming of distant friends ready to listen; ‘I’m On My Way’, far from the endorphin-high of the magical mystery tour, a Mazzy Star inspired ache for loved ones while on the road; ‘Everything, All You See’, a celebration of identity found in the search for belonging and kinship; ‘All The Worlds’ of the intergenerational connection and pull to the familial and spiritual, mirrored through Omar Khayyam and George Fitzgerald’s 800 years apart work of the Rubiyat; and ‘On Highways (aug 4)’, that craves for a relationship with and guidance from a higher being, religious or otherwise, blasting into a spacey, George Clanton heady vapourwave epic.
On the heels of their latest chapter, Vallis Alps marvel in the beauty of their paradox. Simultaneously juxtaposing and balancing depictions of cleaving through holding together and breaking apart, the momentous debut posits just how integral releasing oneself from detriment creates opportunities for transformation. Be it overcoming the anxieties of an ever-changing world or taking the plunge in life-altering decisions, elsewhere the record relays the desperation of life at its most tempestuous and how clinging to faith can aid in navigating everyday crossroads. Cleave is a defining, multi-layered statement for Vallis Alps. A didactic relay of their own pedagogy to salvation through the lens of their relationship, deeply nurtured and blooming.
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