WLR039 Fragile Melodies by Valotihkuu
Fragile Melodies for a Summers day
One thing that always lifts my spirits on a Sunday morning is turning on my laptop and discovering an artist I have never heard before. Something new, something exciting and something that encapsulates the moment perfectly. This is one of those albums. Whenever I receive an email from Whitelabrecs about an upcoming release I know I am in for a treat and this month’s release is no exception.‘Fragile Melodies’ is the latest album from Russian artist Denis Davydov AKA Valotihkuu. With previous releases appearing on Russian independent labels such as Ветер в Ивах and Unline and with an impressive collection of self releases, Denis has amassed a beautiful back catalog of music since he began in 2010.
The thing that first struck me about the album was Its beautiful minimalistic approach, reminiscent of something you might find on labels such as 12K or Home Normal. The sound pallet for the album is extremely precise, a few core instruments including bells, lap harp, music box and guitar sit onto a spacious bed of field recordings whilst a warm comforting tape hiss plays throughout the record. Soft tape loops warble in and out as you lose yourself in the album’s beautifully simplistic melodies. The space granted to each sound allows you time to reflect, each new melody conjuring up a window into the past, taking you on a vivid journey through sun drenched woodlands or vast open meadows. I can’t help but get lost in time listening to this record, each track blending so seamlessly into the next that I forget how long I have been listening for, lost in a hypnotic swirl of nostalgia. Soft evolving pads and strings compliment the subtle field recordings, as the sound of trees rustling and birds singing mix perfectly with the instrumentation; the result is a calm and peaceful space for reflection.
‘Fragile Melodies’ is one of those albums you can’t help keeping on repeat, each listen revealing a little more than the last. Subtle shifts in tone and texture breathe new life into each exploration, adding to the album’s narrative and keeping you coming back for more. Valotihkuu is clearly an artist who enjoys spending time crafting an album’s concept – each track seems like a full formed story taking you deep inside his personal thoughts and memories. During the creation of the album Denis would take long reflective walks thinking about the fragments of sounds he had been composing and reflecting on how these could be presented. Themes of childhood, growth and innocence run throughout the album. Each sound is so compellingly and lovingly crafted that you can’t help but fall in love with this beautiful record, a perfect fit for the coming summer months.
Valotihkuu’s ‘Fragile Melodies’ is available via the Whitelabrecs Bandcamp page in the familiar White Label Vinyl effect CDR and in a range of digital formats. With only 50 physical copies available I highly recommend grabbing yourself one before they disappear – this album will soon become a classic.