The music of vlossom is an entry into another world, a wonderland both beautifully futuristic and profoundly elemental. A newly birthed collaboration between Australian musicians Nick Littlemore (PNAU, Empire of the Sun) and Alister Wright (Cloud Control), vlossom symphonize elements of pop and psych-rock and electronic music into something strangely multisensory—a body of work possessed of its own distinct texture and temperature and color and perfume, euphoric and often trance-inducing yet undeniably transformative.
True to the enchanted nature of the project, vlossom emerged from a moment of charmed spontaneity: while walking down the street one autumn day in Adelaide, Littlemore bumped into Wright and immediately proposed that they make an album together. “He had this exuberance that shone through as he approached me, and right away I felt compelled to offer myself up for the slaughter,” says Littlemore, who’d first spotted Wright at a Cloud Control show more than a decade earlier. Several months later, the two musicians joined up for their first session, during which Littlemore played a number of backing tracks he’d recently created (including a few pieces made with Tim Lefebvre, a bassist known for his work with David Bowie). “Without really talking or anything, Nick threw me straight in and had me sing over all these instrumentals,” Wright recalls. “I ended up getting so lost in it, and just singing whatever came into my head at the time.”
Working from Wright’s improvised vocal melodies, Littlemore added lyrics and further structure to those preliminary tracks, and later invited Wright out to Los Angeles to begin the recording process with his longtime collaborator Peter Mayes. “Before we started working, I wanted to make sure we were on the same wavelength as far as wanting to bring love and light into the world with this project,” says Littlemore. As part of that initiation, Wright had a vision of laughing flowers—an echo of the psychedelic revelation that inspired the project’s name. “The word ‘vlossom’ felt emblematic of the emotion that we wanted to channel through our music, and it also went along with the idea of this project being a way to bring something back from another world and give it a home in this one,” Wright says.
The first glimpse into their world-bending, vlossom’s debut single “Catch Your Breath” unfolds in hypnotic rhythms and ethereal vocal work, a graceful collision of electronic experimentation and live instrumentation (largely provided by a lineup of legendary musicians whom Littlemore met through his work with Elton John). And while its title phrase carries certain literal connotations—Wright’s sometimes-perilous adventures in surfing, Littlemore’s experience in nearly drowning as a young child—the lush and luminous track mostly speaks to a metaphorical loss of composure. “It’s that feeling of seeing a thing of absolute beauty, whether it’s a girl or guy or plant or animal, and being brought into a heightened reality,” says Littlemore. “For the most part our everyday lives are fairly menial, so those moments when we do lose our breath are really something to dwell on.”
In dreaming up the songs set to appear on their forthcoming debut EP and album, vlossom drew inspiration from brilliantly disparate sources: the soundtrack to the original Blade Runner, neo-expressionist painter Peter Max, Miles Davis’s late-’70s output, Riane Eisler’s cultural anthropology text The Chalice and The Blade. As they shaped their endless fascinations into their first batch of material, Littlemore and Wright embraced a joyfully unchecked boldness. “The reason we write so many songs so quickly is that we’re always just going towards the songs—saying yes, moving forward, trusting in the moment that we’re sharing, melting into the experience,” notes Wright.
In each new piece that vlossom create, that energy manifests as a benevolent effervescence, one that ultimately leaves the listener with a renewed sense of wonder. “If we can impart anything to people, I hope it’s that feeling of losing yourself in a moment, stepping outside of yourself in the best imaginable way,” says Littlemore. “In a world that’s increasingly hard to navigate and understand, I think it’s so important to have those moments of levity and beauty and positivity, with the hope that maybe some of that feeling might carry on into the rest of your life.”