Vákoum, consisting of Israeli/American composer Kelli Rudick and Mexican composer Natalia Padilla weave an intricate and ethereal web on ‘Still Ready,’ first single from debut EP ‘Home for Home’.

Craig, from The Verigolds. Picture by Steve Anderson.

A week ago Craig, from The Verigolds, messaged me on Facebook asking if I was interested in premiering a track called ‘Still Ready’ from his friends project, Vákoum. I sighed, because I’m an asshole and accents in band names make me do that, but plugged my phone into the speakers anyway, pressed play and stepped outside for a cigarette.

It was a rainy day and as the first, circular seconds of ‘Still Ready’ tinkled from the speakers I watched the drops collide with my concrete patio, creating an ever changing landscape of wet. I took a drag and thought about dinner, rent, and the fucking parking ticket I’d gotten the day before. I’d let the last one I’d gotten double and promised myself I wouldn’t do that again (I did).

 

Vákoum: From left, Kelli Rudick & Natalia Padilla

I found myself tapping my foot, and craning my neck, and, in my relentlessly stony fashion, thinking ‘Who the fuck is this? Bjork with Alt-J? A more intricate Grimes?’ There were siren-esque vocals and delicate melody’s, weaving in and out of an intricate and lush arrangement of guitar and mbira loops and ?/? drumming, and by the time the rhythm dropped out and hung on the female duo gently crooning ‘Frozen worlds melt in our mouth’ in harmony I was floored. Then it hit me. Holy shit, I WAS ASKED TO PREMIERE THIS.

I scrambled back inside (pressed repeat) and clicked back to Vákoum’s SoundCloud to listen to everything they’d previously released aaaaaaand…spoiler alert, there’s only one other song. Spoiler alert #2, it absolutely does not disappoint. ‘Dagger’, a drastic re-imagining of the Slowdive track, is a reverb and synth soaked magic carpet ride through a Miyazaki-esque dreamland, and the perfect compliment to ‘Still Ready’s masterfully subtle complexity.

The duo, consisting of Israeli/American composer Kelli Rudick (drums, mbira, vocals, guitar, live looping and synth) and Mexican composer Natalia Padilla (guitar, synths, live looping, sampling and vocals), met in New York City in 2013, where they immediately bonded over influences like Cocteau Twins, Blonde Redhead and Massive Attack. They began collaborating shortly thereafter, and although they mine these influences they maintain an incredibly fresh, timely and unique voice all the while.Vákoum are self releasing their stellar debut EP, ‘Home for Home’ on February 15th, and play a Radio Halloran Presents show at The Merrow on January 24th with Of Ennui and Brain Ghost.
Review By: Jakob McWhinney