In the aftermath of their hit "Bleed Together," VALA unveils their pop-infused charm with "Fishes" – a track brimming with infectious hooks, sleek vocals, and melodic prowess. This latest offering showcases VALA's adeptness at blending mesmerizing processed vocals with sparkling guitars and dynamic drums, a testament to their venture into a future-pop sound while maintaining their indie hero status. Far from a straightforward pop tune, "Fishes" unfolds as a multi-layered masterpiece, positioning it as a potential standout track of the year.
In this interview, we delve into VALA's genre-crossing sound, a fusion of indie rock and pop that seamlessly incorporates melodic hooks and smooth guitar riffs. Drawing comparisons to indie giants like The Strokes and Willie J. Healey, VALA takes us behind the scenes of their musical journey and the creative process behind "Fishes." We spoke to them about the tracks that shaped their sound.
Porches - Okay
First hearing this song when it released in 2021 was an epiphany. The forthright production under tuned + twee melody lines into the repetitive chorus felt like everything we’d been struggling to distill into our own songs for the previous year or so. A lively blend of acoustic and electric guitars, big drums and mopey lyrics. A big track for us and one that we still use to reference our own mixes before sending out into the world.
Alvvays - Pharmacist
Alvvays had always had an influence on our writing but it wasn’t until their most recent record Blue Rev that we started to fully take note of what they were doing sonically. Heavy walls of guitar noise have taken over our recent releases where once was sparse, dry arrangements, and Blue Rev has been the constant reference point. We could have chosen any song from the album, but this was the lead single and the first sign of something special to come.
The Voidz - Leave It In My Dreams
Anyone who knows us will know of our historical love of The Strokes (Is This It/Room On Fire producer Gordon Raphael lent a hand on our debut EP I Love The Sound), but it is Strokes’ side-project The Voidz that has had a more recent impact on our production style. This track in particular is a blend of the vintage guitar-rock sounds we love and the futuristic pop production we’re steadily creeping towards. We even stole the riff for a future single, but we will deal with that another time.
Charlie XCX - forever
Talking of The Voidz’ futuristic-pop sound brings us cleanly onto our next track. There are no garage rock guitars present but the direct, hooky songwriting is here in spades. Tuned and pitched vocals pushing through a saccharine but sincere lyric, all sitting atop some horrible sounds. forever and the rest of the songs from its album taught us that we could deliver our brand of uncomplicated hook writing whilst still sounding interesting and pushing the odd sonic boundary.
Hank Williams - I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
Back to basics for our final pick. The uncomplicated arrangement, the memorable melody, the textural guitar work - it’s all there from the very beginning.