Vallis Alps spoke with ListenSD right before their show at Space Bar last Saturday night.
Vallis Alps has only been out in the public consciousness for less than three years. However, they’ve already traversed the globe with massive festivals in Europe (Reading and Leeds Festivals), United States (Lightning in a Bottle and North Coast Music Festival) and not to mention all of the sold out shows in their home country of Australia.
Before taking the stage at another sold out show at Space Bar last Saturday night, we hopped in Vallis Alps’ pearly white tour van and spoke with producer David Ansari about the electronic duo’s origins in Israel, past festival memories, and their latest single celebrating women’s rights called “Oceans.”
How did your magical, musical kinship with Vallis Alps singer Parissa Tosif come about and what brought each of you to Israel where you originally connected?
David Ansari: We both happened to move to Israel to volunteer at the Baha’i World Centre for a year after high school in 2010. I heard Parissa sing at a friends house and told her we should make music together. I just had an acoustic guitar at the time. It was a really instantaneous connection from the first time we sat down together. She would improvise melodies and lyrics simultaneously–it really impressed me.
The sound of Vallis Alps consists of a unique blend of synth pop and ethereal dance music. What are each of your influences musically, lyrically, and visually?
David Ansari: I was also listening to a lot of Future and Lil Wayne while we were making the Fable EP. I tend to get sucked into micromanaging every second of every note in our music, and I find that listening to rappers–particularly those who just hit the studio and freestyle without writtens [sic] until they catch a vibe to record to–is a good reminder to keep the energy of a song at the forefront, and not get too obsessed with making something perfect. We spent a year slowly adding paintings and outfits to a Pinterest board to form ideas about what we wanted the EP to emulate visually. More recently I’ve been listening to and thinking about bands with a lot of people on stage–Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, LCD Soundsystem.
What is one your favorite memories from the festivals or club dates you have performed at?
David Ansari: Parissa got 10,000 people to sing me “Happy Birthday” at a festival outside of Sydney earlier this year. That was insane.
How do your audiences in Australia compare to those of the U.S. and Europe?
David Ansari: A lot of our Australian audience know us through the radio, whereas our radio presence in Europe and the USA is still developing so most people in those territories know us through the internet. But to be honest, we find that every room is different, even if we play two nights in the same city, one night might be a party, the other night might have a more attentive and tuned-in audience. Still trying to find a pattern, still left grasping for straws.
On your recently released single “Oceans,” you reference the women’s rights activist Táhirih who fought and died for the emancipation of women in Iran. What is your opinion on the state of women’s rights and is there a need for another emancipation of perhaps a more nuanced variety?
David Ansari: We talked about this a lot while we were drafting the lyrics for “Oceans.” Humanity is suffering from its refusal to recognize the equality of men and women, and as a result women at every level of society are not being given the opportunity to develop their capacities to the fullest. Without the recognition of equality, humanity will be held back from its true development in every area including the sciences, arts and music. The song is a celebration of the power and courage of women in spite of this inequality.