By Karolina Kapusta
Imagine travelling halfway across the world for a volunteering experience and meeting someone there that shared the same beliefs, visions and musical tastes as you. Imagine being told that in a couple years’ time, you two would have created a cohesive piece of musical work that would top music charts and result in you playing at major festivals and selling out shows. That’s sort of how it went for Vallis Alps.
“It was honestly a magical experience,” says Parissa Tosif, vocalist and one half of the electronic dream pop duo Vallis Alps, telling the story of how she and her producer counterpart David Ansari first met and created their first songs together back in 2015.
While Tosif is from Canberra, Australia, Ansari hails from Seattle in the United States and together the band is based in Australia. The pair met while volunteering in the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa, Israel. After returning to their own homes, they continued sending each other music. Ansari, at the time, was interning at Deep Well Studio in the middle of the woods in Washington. At the same time, Tosif was taking time off school to focus on music and decided to take a risk and visit Ansari in Seattle. Good fortune blessed the pair again when they were given the opportunity to record at Deep Well. A month later, they completed four songs, which led to the release of their first self-titled EP a year and a half later.
Their first single, “Young,” plays like a drowsy electro-pop melody as Tosif sings dolefully about the passage of time and how it favours the young. Their debut EP, a euphoric five-track work of art, features Tosif with her voice of milk and honey and Ansari’s ethereal production style.
With the promise of a new EP on the horizon, Vallis Alps’ latest single, “Fading,” is the first taste of music from the pair in almost two years. Combining Tosif’s tender vocals with David Ansari’s uplifting production, “Fading” was another infectious track that delighted their fans. “The people we meet, our families, our struggles and joys, our faith, the mysteries of our world and the events taking place at this point in history are only some of the inspiration for Vallis Alps’ lyrics,” says Tosif. “The new EP [Fable] is conceptually based around the idea that we wanted to snapshot where we are at this [particular] moment in our lives. We wanted to give ourselves a few concepts to remember for when we get older. That’s kind of how the name ‘Fable’ came about — little snippets or stories that can be carried forward. Each song has a different meaning and story, but they all fit within that overarching purpose.”
Vallis Alps is paying it forward by releasing the stems of their music on their website. “We wanted to share our stems because we feel like in this day and age, the building blocks for every project — whether it be artistic, scientific, mathematic, whatever field — should be accessible for all to see and use,” Tosif explains. “We have learnt so much from other people, from them explaining what goes into their final product, that we felt it would be cool to show people what we’ve learnt about making a song.”
After hitting up North American destinations, Vallis Alps will be returning to their home base to continue performing. The Australian leg of their tour has expanded to meet further demands. “It’s honestly such a privilege to be able to meet the people that listen to our music. Fans can expect our new songs, our old, and hanging out with us two!” reveals Tosif.
Ansari adds, “This tour has a lot of firsts — we’re performing our new EP in its entirety and we’re touring with a light show for the first time. It’s a coherent audio-visual show that represents our music better than our previous tours have, so we can’t wait to show it to people.”
Vallis Alps performs at Alexander Gastown on March 11The Alexander, Vallis Alps