There’s a chill in the air this time of year, and as the mornings become increasingly crisp and cool, songwriter and producer VONAVI is providing the perfect soundtrack with his debut album Reflection (out November 8, 2019 via 61 Seconds Records). Reflection is a cinematic dive into icy waters, an intimate exploration of organic and electronic sounds, and a living painting of Vonavi’s artistic growth. “I don’t like to see everything as a final thing,” explains Vonavi mastermind, Andrei Ivanov. “I like to leave the door open for imperfections so I can be open for new explorations rather than staying in an infinite loop of self-doubt.”
The latest single from Reflection “Fear For You” features vocalist Lorna Rose floating a diaphanous, graceful melody over a dub-inspired bass, and deep sighs of abyssal synths and strings. “I almost gave up on this song because it was really hard to find the right singer,” says Ivanov. “I tried different vocalists, and it didn’t work… Something was off. I remember I sent this demo to Chris [James of electronic band Run Rivers] and he got me in touch with his friend Lorna Rose. She liked the track and recorded some vocals in Chris’s studio. I received the vocals and it was amazing! Lorna just nailed it!”
The accompanying video (directed by Matthew Bowie) mirrors the contemplative track with a profound coastal setting and passionately empathetic dance performance from dancer and choreographer Alexis Borth.
As Vonavi’s debut album, Reflection stands to introduce Ivanov’s unique distillation of electronic music. It exhibits the fragility of James Blake, the lovability of Maribou State, the accessibility of Bondax, and the downright coolness of Massive Attack. Reflection feels like a breath of fresh air, while simultaneously leaving you breathless. It represents a sense of balance that is evident the more you look; cinematic yet approachable with a style that is fresh yet mature, relaxed yet powerful, stripped down yet melodic, reassuringly warm yet undeniably brisk.
In addition to Lorna Rose, Vonavi also features the stunning talents of artists Run Rivers and Jack Hawitt throughout the albums eleven tracks. Between the haunting drive of “Sunburst,” the animated rhythms of “Calling,” the robust pop melodies of “Full of Lies,” the fuzzy backdrop of “Everyday,” and the elegant soundscapes of “Regrow,” Vonavi builds a record of distinctive and personal compositions.
“The main protagonist of the album is my old upright piano, “ says Ivanov, recalling the album’s production. “I start almost every track with it. I like how different and organic it can be to digital pianos. It’s like a living organism that sounds different every day depending on the temperature, humidity etc. I like the imperfection of it, it creates some sound artifacts like crackles and squeaky sounds. It’s the best way to express emotions. Once it’s captured you cannot alter the sound much – it’s done!”
Aside from his work on Reflection, Andrei Ivanov has deployed his cinematic artistry to create music for soundtracks and commercials. He’s worked with P&G, FujiFilm, and Jeep, as well as scoring two long documentaries for AOL and TechCrunch and assisting directors with music for short films and documentaries. His music has even been featured in the beloved television hits How To Get Away With Murder (“Sunburst”) and Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger (“Feel the Embrace”).
Reflection invites the world to connect with Vonavi as he begins his journey. “I hope it will resonate with the right people, “ says Ivanov. “So they can enjoy it, join my path, and observe my growth as an artist.”
Vonavi is Andrei Ivanov.