Vondelpark’s existence has differed greatly from many other new bands that have emerged in recent years. The uncompromising approach and love for making music has caused an organic growth for Lewis Rainsbury, Alex Bailey and Matt Law, which has ultimately paid dividends for the group. Their progression can be heard throughout their releases, the sound that characterised their first EP ‘Sauna’ has been nurtured and evolved into something more intricate.
Their debut album ‘Seabed’ was not formed in the deep, dark, depths of the ocean, but instead in Lewis and Bailey’s South London flat, which has developed from the initial clusters of DIY set ups to more of a home studio. When we chat to Lewis he is joined by Bailey in a coffee shop near their flat, in London. We ask about the anticipation for their debut album to which Lewis replies, “Yeah we are very excited, aren’t we Bailey? He doesn’t look very excited at this precise moment, but we are excited.” He speaks cooly, with the same relaxed tone that the music on ‘Seabed’ manages to induce with its dreamlike state.
It is the maturity of the creators that shines through on ‘Seabed’ that is staggering. The rush not to release their debut album has been complemented by this effort rich with textures that is very much an album in a truest sense of the word. It is a collection of songs that have to be listened to in their entirety to get full effect. “I think personally it’s more of a body of work,” Lewis explains. “I didn’t really try to make a single when I made the record. It’s more of a mood, just like our EPs we tried to capture a mood at the time that we were making it.”
The band’s mood influenced the album’s title; Riverbed may seem to be more appropriate for a band based just south of the River Thames, but Lewis tells us the reasoning: “We have a really strange way of putting out music, so we thought we would try and describe it, underwater sideways popped when we finished the album.” So ‘Seabed’ was born. “We also felt that we sort of didn’t exist in London as a project or as people for a bit,” Lewis adds. “We were in our own bubble keeping ourselves to ourselves. Like aliens or deep sea fish.”
The bubble Vondelpark created is very much contagious. As a listener you quickly inhabit their world due to the immersive layers of sound, which can be credited to the production of the album. This is another element of creating music that is of up most importance to the trio. His studies in music production and sound art has allowed Lewis to “understand the influence a producer has.” He explains to us that “the fact that it is self-produced means that you can keep it close to the idea that you originally have.” Lewis is very much a musician that likes to be in full control, as well as having an eye for detail that explains the intensity of Vondelpark’s music. “I am genuinely obsessed with making tracks so I pay attention to detail. It is just an obsession that hopefully translates into the music to make people pay attention but it wasn’t intentional.” At this point you may think that the group’s main man is a control freak; we think he is more of a perfectionist, but Lewis remains a lot more modest. “It is a hard thing to achieve perfection. I don’t think the record is perfect, but it is the best we could have done with the time that we had to do it.”
Vondelpark’s debut album ‘Seabed’ is out now via R&S.