GETTING INTO: Prog, as chosen by VOLA

Copenhagen’s progressive, genre-crossing quartet VOLA have returned with their brand new album ‘Applause Of A Distant Crowd’. On the new record, the band probe society’s distractions from thoughtfulness and examine the way human relationships have evolved whilst touching upon fear and anxiety. Singer and guitarist Asger Mygind said “I think our songs develop in the most natural way if I let my emotional response to the music dictate what the lyrics should be about rather than following any kind of plan. This time the emotions were mostly tied to observations I’ve made about the outside world”.

Asger has helped us out by introducing us to some of the best and most important progressive rock bands to introduce us to the genre; check out the tracks he picked out.


PORCUPINE TREE – THE START OF SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL

The long C-part in this song is absolutely gorgeous. Listening to how the drums re-enter the song together with the strummed guitar, is like coming out of a forest and discovering a stunning sunset. ‘Deadwing’ as a whole is mesmerising, but to me this song is the pinnacle of the experience.


OPETH – WINDOWPANE

The guitar solo in ‘Windowpane’ is of one my favourite leads of all time. A beautiful sequence of notes and pauses, executed with a sublime touch. I thoroughly enjoy how the mood changes throughout this song, which is one of Opeth’s many trademarks. The solo enters shortly after a very gloomy sounding part, and establishes a calm, harmonious atmosphere that becomes a nice pillow for your head to rest upon.


MESHUGGAH – IN DEATH IS LIFE/IN DEATH IS DEATH

One of my all-time favourite riff sequences. Meshuggah were the band that showed me how musically fulfilling it can be to introduce a certain rhythmic idea in the beginning of a song, and then re-use and expand on that idea as the song evolves. It creates a constant recognisable sense throughout the track, and makes sure, that the listening experience doesn’t become incoherent and confusing.


PINK FLOYD – MOTHER

When the organ enters in the second verse I am completely sold. I love small additions like this. Instrumentation that keeps the tracking growing steadily until it’s ready to take off. I’m also a big fan of the systematic approach to the vocal melody. That way of repeating a phrase is something I continuously try to incorporate into my own songwriting.


MEW – THE ZOOKEEPER’S BOY

The main rhythmic idea of this song, and the way instrument and vocal roles dance around it, is highly satisfying. It’s musical fireworks at its best. Grandiose and borderless, and so addictive that you would like for it to just go on and on. Mew’s songs often has a nice weight to them, but they never become heavy in the traditional “metal”-sense. Overall it’s a more playful approach, where you sense how the enormity of the soundscapes and the punch from the drums and distorted bass pushes you down in your seat and win you over.


VOLA‘s new album ‘Applause Of A Different Crowd’ is out now via Mascot Records and you can download it from BandCamp (here).

You can catch VOLA on the following dates with Monuments:

NOVEMBER 2 – WORTHING, Bar 42
NOVEMBER 3 – LEEDS, Damnation Fest
NOVEMBER 4 – CARDIFF, The Globe
NOVEMBER 5 – GLASGOW, G2
NOVEMBER 6 – BELFAST, Foundry
NOVEMBER 7 – DUBLIN, Voodoo Lounge
NOVEMBER 8 – MANCHESTER, Factory
NOVEMBER 9 – LONDON, The Dome
NOVEMBER 11 – BRISTOL, Macmillan Fest

You can follow the band via their Facebook (here) and Twitter (here).