Copenhagen’s Vola release new album ‘Applause from a distant crowd’ this Friday, October 12th.
The band have been described as ‘progressive genre crossing’ and that’s a good indication of what to expect on this album.
Vola are; Asger Mygind (Vocals/Guitar), Martin Werner (Keyboards), Nicolai Mogensen (Bass) and Adam Janzi on drums. This is their second album release, while the first ‘Inmazes’ tackled the concept of being trapped in mental mazes, a dark concept, this album takes on a very different concept.
The album title is a metaphor derived from our relationship with social media, how we can appear close but be miles apart. Mygind elaborates: “We spend a lot of time trying to present ourselves in a flattering light in the pursuit of continuous applause, even if it’s a distant applause from those you may not connect with away from the screens.”
Prior to the album release I was enjoying the song Ghosts, released few weeks ago, it caught my ear and dragged me in, that keyboard riff just went around and round in my head. That’s not a bad thing though because it made me take notice of the band, the sound they were producing Asger on the vocals just fitted in so well. The song itself takes on the fear of death, and how we approach it, or how we try to, not approach it dare I say.
I was expecting the rest of the album to be in a very similar vein, but it’s not, it’s a great collection of songs that combined, create a fantastic album. Opening the album is We are thin air, with its heavy distortion effect at first, it gives way to a haunting melody that soon caught me, in this track, the focus is on the fragility between partners, leading into the previously release track Ghost. Ruby Pool, is a very beautiful dreamy 80’s style track that’s followed by Smart friend, this is a very busy track, with much going on at once, ‘voices in my head’, the track itself has very sinister underpinnings; how it’s become acceptable to change one’s body and of its consequences . Vertigo could be linked into We are thin air, in this we are reminded of the psychological effects of relationship break down. With Green Screen Mother, I am reminded of another prog band, from Germany, Sylvan and here I see/hear a very similar style especially vocally.
The title track Applause from a distant crowd tells of the consequences of seeking attention in social media following a break up, and musically this comes across well, especially at times when it really feels like a spark has been lit, maybe not reignited but an inner explosion of feelings. It has become a part of life, how we deal with social media, how we use it, from the harmless selfie to the monster it creates as we use to create that artificial audience, that cyber world we let control our lives.
The concepts explored are fascinating and are much more real than we give credit to, it’s been a fantastic album to review not only musically but has been very thought provoking.
VOLA also go on tour in November supporting UK prog band Monuments.
You may even catch me down the front at one of these gigs, I’d love to see them live!
Fri Nov 2nd – Bar 42, Worthing
Sat Nov 3rd – Damnation Festival, Leeds
Sun Nov 4th – The Globe, Cardiff
Mon Nov 5th – G2, Glasgow
Tues Nov 6th – Foundry, Belfast
Wed Nov 7th – Voodoo Lounge, Dublin
Thurs Nov 8th – Factory, Manchester
Fri Nov 9th – The Dome, London
Sun Nov 11th – Macmillan Festival, Bristol