Music Feeds’ Love Letter to a Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with the music they love and share stories about how it has influenced their lives. Here, Parissa Tosif and David Ansari of electronic pop duo Vallis Alps express their love for albums by Sudan Archives and Floating Points.
Vallis Alps‘ Parissa Tosif and David Ansari spent five years working on their debut album, Cleave. The record combines elements of electronic, indie, and pop music while reflecting on the individual journeys of the project’s two constituents. Tosif and Ansari are based separately, in Sydney and Los Angeles, and Cleave is a testament to their enduring friendship and willingness to navigate the turbulence of adult life together.
Vallis Alps: Cleave
Parissa Tosif’s love letter to Sudan Archives’ Athena
Parissa Tosif: When I first heard Athena by Sudan Archives, I was shocked because I’d never heard anything like it. Each song is so different to any other song in the universe and has a beauty to it that stuck with me. Sudan Archives is so bold in her musical choices.
In general, the album showcases how someone can use all of their talents – classical violin, vocal production and unique percussion – to make something very special. In my life at the time, I was working on the Vallis Alps album and my solo project. I was feeling stuck creatively and this album would always pull me out with its confidence for being so authentic.
Songs like ‘Black Vivaldi Sonata’ take me to another world, where I’m floating and spinning. ‘Green Eyes’ I always come back to for the production and mood the lyrics create. The melodies in ‘Limitless’ are so catchy and light.
My absolute favourite is the outro track, ‘Pelicans In The Summer’. I love when songs make me feel nostalgic and this song definitely does that, and the metallic percussion underlying the main hook is such a tasteful choice.
I’m grateful to Sudan Archives for being an example of an incredibly confident, powerful and creative woman. You can feel who she is from this album – and I don’t know a lot of artists that are able to do that. I love all of Sudan Archives’ music following this album too, and I’m excited for what she has in store in the future.
David Ansari’s love letter to Floating Points’ Crush
David Ansari: Floating Points’ Crush is an album that bends my mind every time I listen to it. Very few artists have the ability to combine disparate fields of music tastefully, and while Crush is firmly rooted in electronic dance music, it masterfully incorporates the best of orchestral composition, ambient synthesis, and cutting-edge sound design, all with an audiophile-level purity that doesn’t cut corners or rely on software gimmicks to make it sound huge.
There’s no vocal chops or dramatic snaredrum buildups or lo-fi samples. Instead, each song is centred on synthesisers and strings, two instrument types that are typically thought of as supporting elements to vocals.
As a producer, it boggles my mind as to how Floating Points tames his Buchla – one of the most complicated instruments on the planet – enough to produce sounds as delicate, complex and commanding as the human voice.
The music is so minimal, but every component has its place. As an artist, it serves as a reminder that my ambition and imagination should never be limited by labels, genre, or commercial pressure, and to continue striving to innovate and find new ways to express my humanity through music.
Vallis Alps’ debut album Cleave is out now. Listen here