Wellington City Libraries

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Glass Vaults


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Glass Vaults are led by core members Richard Larsen and Rowan Pierce. The pairs’ songs hypnotically migrate between subtle electronics and pulsating percussion that serves as a rich textural veneer to Larsen’s haunting yet sentimental vocals.

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“Best known for their succinctly titled Glass EP (downloadable free from their bandcamp page), Wellington duo Glass Vaults – Richard Larsen and Rowan Pierce – write and perform emotive music that places an equal premium on infectious rhythms, gorgeous synthesiser and guitar textures, driven by Larsen’s haunting, clear vocals. Both trained designers, Larsen and Pierce accompany Glass Vaults’ washed out soundworlds with hazy dreamlike artwork and live visuals, creating a product that is perfectly pitched in the dynamic between look and sound. As Pierce explains while we relax in a pub in Newtown, Wellington, “We believe strongly in the power of image as a communicator of ideas. It can actually be as enjoyable as making the music, making the whole package communicate.” Both lifelong musicians, the two began working together after meeting at university in Wellington. Connecting with a notoriously underground, yet internationally known local producer by the name of Bevan Smith (of Signer), they found their fledgling arrangements being stretched out into lush, fully realised universes of textural sound. Releasing an EP of material for free in an effort to, as Larsen puts it, “get the music to as many people as possible,” Glass Vaults found themselves connecting with likeminded musical souls across the planet, including JUKBOXR Records from the US, who late last year pressed their EP up in a limited run of 500 immaculately packaged 12” vinyl records. Working to create, as Pierce states, “A piece which was a full package, where each song was represented within that package as opposed to a series of individual songs.” Live, ‘Glass Vaults’ really come into their own. With Larsen on keys, guitar and vocals, and Pierce working on synthesisers, samplers and drum machines, both bashing out semi-tribal rhythms, and the odd appearance from Smith on guitar – the music stretches out with a studied emptiness not unlike the live performances of post-dubstep figureheads James Blake and Jamie Woon. Don’t lump them into that world though; Glass Vaults arrived at this point on their own and they look set to take things somewhere completely different”.

RNZ interview with Richard Larsen and Rowan Pierce from Wellington based ambient electronic duo

Debut album, ‘Sojurn’, released in September 2015 is described by the band as ‘… lush psychedelic folk. They are songs of celebration, environment and love.’ But it here on LP, or CD. Or on Bandcamp.

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Cover/Text sourced from Bandcamp. Interview courtesy of RNZ.
‘Who’s Next’ sourced from Rip It Up No. 341, June-July, 2011. Used with permission.

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