vallis-alps-2Australian duo VALLIS ALPS have had a stratospheric couple of years. The Sydney based pair went viral courtesy of their delectable track ‘Fading’, whilst as a collection their music has racked up over 25 million streams in the process – and that’s before we even get to Troye Sivan.  Their official remix of the young singer-songwriter’s track ‘Ease (feat. Broods)’ has hit over a quarter of a million streams of its own account; clearly Vallis Alps are doing something right! Now they return with their new track ‘East’. Parissa Tosif of the band told us all about ‘East’, finding their niche, and reveals their favourite Australian artists…

Can you tell us a little about what new track ‘East’ means to you and how it came to life? 

The entire Fable EP is loosely based around the idea of passing crucial lessons from the present onto our future selves and ‘East’ is the first lesson. It is about the power of youth, both the actual time of life but also the power of collective action when we are young. It is about taking risks, being courageous to not blindly imitate the past. The song was the first one we started, but the last to finish! It came to life really towards the end, when all of the elements started coming together into a song as opposed to bits of a song. It’s sonically probably our most unique and so getting that to work was a bit of a journey!
‘East’ is a bold and energetic number, quite different to your previous single ‘Fading’. Was it a conscious effort when creating ‘East’ to try something different?”
Hmm good question. Well we never really set that kind of intention with the song. It kind of more just took on it’s own characteristics and became what it is! We are always trying to switch things up, and explore new directions, so it probably was a result of that.

‘Fading’ has amassed an incredible 128,000 plays on Soundcloud alone! Congratulations! What does it feel like for your music to be getting so much attention?

Thank you so much. Honestly, it feels really moving, surprising and fills us with so much joy. To have people listen to our music is in itself such a huge honour for us, and it always will be. We also are constantly amazed by how strongly our music connects with fans on such a personal level – it’s always been our intention to make music for people, so that they’re uplifted and feel life’s emotions. It’s especially really incredible to have that come to life and to be able to share it with people in a live show environment.

Your sound is quite eclectic, combining electronic and acoustic elements seamlessly; how did you find your niche?

I guess by just trying! We are both so drawn to real instruments and the effect they have on music and people. A lot of our ideas come from just sitting at a piano, or singing with a guitar. ‘Run’ is a good example of that. The electronic side of things then became a way to explore all the amazing sounds we can access and push any emotion coming from the real instruments out even further.

I think our first EP was such a huge experiment for the both of us on so many levels that elements started to emerge that felt like “us”. One of them was this idea of the electronic and acoustic sounds merging and creating a new feeling. We are still working on our sound, and what it is exactly – I guess that’ll never end?

Are there any artists that have particularly inspired your sound?

This is a hard question! Only because I think we would both have hundreds of examples. For me as a vocalist, I am inspired by many singers past and present that have impacted the way I want to sing. Some of them are Eva Cassidy, Natasha Khan, Joni Mitchell, Hope Sandoval and Tracy Chapman. David and I have a bunch of artists that we have in common but he also offers a fresh perspective from artists that he loves that can range anywhere between James Blake to Lamb Of God.
You are expected to release your Fable EP later this year. Is there anything that you can tell us about the EP to whet our appetite until it drops?

Perhaps that it covers a broad range of sounds and ideas, and is our little gift to this confusing world. It explores a lot of ideas that we found as youth and want to remember in the future, kind of like our own fable. It touches on risk, courage, collective consciousness, joy and so many other ideas.

What was the writing and recording process like this time around?

Writing this EP was so different to writing our first. This time, we wrote to a concept of the entire body of work as opposed to letting the concept emerge from the writing process. We also did a lot of writing on the road and in between shows, which meant that we could test material and see how people reacted to it.

One of the biggest things we learnt about this year was how to collaborate better as a band. We both have so many strengths and weaknesses and learning to explore those and bring out the strengths in a small independent team became a huge focus for us! We have learnt so much in the writing context because of that and I think it’s made us understand each other a lot better.

You released a remix of Troye Sivan’s ‘Ease ft. Broods’ last year, which understandably received a lot of attention. How did that opportunity arise?  

Troye himself found our music online and then the opportunity to collaborate came about naturally from there! We’re really happy that we got to work on such a great track and delve deep into it from our perspective.

You’re an Australian band and oftentimes Australian music – unfairly – doesn’t cross over to the Northern hemisphere. What artists, bands or creatives of other fields do you think that we should know more about?

Too many great artists to mention but some incredible musicians we are loving at the moment are #1 Dads, Leftenent (who is also the amazing vocal engineer behind ‘Fading’), D.D Dumbo, Body Type (who possibly have the coolest tour poster ever made by Perth-based artist Brooke Yallop) , Tiny Ruins (NZ) and Golden Vessel. Also really love the pieces from the Australian Jewellery designer, Elke.
Vallis Alps’ Fable EP is available now.