Sydney duo Vallis Alps have an incredible ability to say so much without actually saying much at all. First demonstrating this on their debut self-titled EP, the two-piece have continued to use their signature silky production and soothing vocals on their latest project to create a moving, minimalistic body of work. Despite only being a brief EP, ‘Fable’ is marked by a cohesion and depth that seamlessly ties together to create Vallis Alps’ rounded, colourful sound. Nothing on ‘Fable’ feels disingenuous; it extends a hand out to the listener in the hope of creating an authentic connection and a mutual understanding. While every song is just a colour or a texture in the colossal painting that is Vallis Alps’ sonic canvas, every moment is treated with the same amount of importance and is integral to making the audience aware of the bigger picture.

The explosive “East” kicks off the four-track EP and is the first example of the outfit’s subtle shift in sound. As the song slowly evolves, you can’t help but notice this is one of Vallis Alps’ loudest, most visceral tracks to date. However, staying true to their stripped-back, graceful approach, the track has little excess. There is nothing intertwined throughout it that doesn’t need to be there and, in turn, the song winds up to be a poignant and effective piece.

Taking a giant leap away from the accessible approach on “East”, “Serity” builds up like a storm. Beginning relatively calmly, the billowing synthesizers and swinging beat build up, caking atop one another until the track eventually resolves and returns to a tranquil state. Despite the song’s length, the duo utilise every second of it to tell their story and freely express their ideas.

The Japanese Wallpaper-esque track “Run” is a bubbly, energetic cut, allowing the EP to reveal its lighter side amongst the dense and, at times, intense cuts. Single “Fading” concludes the EP, sending things off the way they began with a more dance-inspired sound and Parissa’s vocals more impressive and gorgeous than ever before.

The album cover for ‘Fable’ provides a truly appropriate portrayal of its content. Each song, each idea and each moment manifests itself as one of the shades on the painting. And just like the painting, every texture and colour is diverse, but they all come together to create something spectacular and refreshing. Wherever Vallis Alps go from here, I’m sure they’ll be taking their paint brush and applying a few more strokes to their already burgeoning canvas.

8/10


Stream ‘Fable’ below: