Bearded Introducing Exclusive: ALMA launches The Great Escape

Hear the brand new music of brand new project, ALMA.

Posted on May 11th, 2015 in Features and Interviews, ALMA, Fierce Panda / By Ian Stanley
Bearded Introducing Exclusive: ALMA launches The Great Escape Exhaling slowly out of the cosmos, with singing violins and gently oscillating piano is ALMA, the latest project of Pete Lambrou from Codes In The Clouds and Monsters Build Mean Robots. With a soft hushed voice along the lines of Patrick Watson or Sufjan Stevens and progressive violins and piano of Explosions In The Sky or Lambrou’s other bands, how could we say no when ALMA offered Bearded an exclusive on its new single?

Name: ALMA
Location: London, UK
Genre: Ambient, Ethereal, Post Rock
Similar Artists: Explosions in the Sky, Cinematic Orchestra, Patrick Watson
Contact: Facebook, Soundcloud, Twitter, Instagram
Events: The release of single The Great Escape

‘The Great Escape’ feels like it would sit at home as the background music to an ambient explosion in space. This is a vibe Pete Lambrou and his compadre in this interstellar affair, Ciaran Morahan, may well be trying to convey. "I think I was aiming for a more soundscapey version of a singersongwriter type thing. Something standalone" says Pete. After all, ALMA takes its name from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array – a really bloody powerful telescope.

The two tracks on The Great Escape – ‘The Great Escape’ and its b-side ‘The Gardener’ – are both idyllic in their outlook. Aspirations of becoming a gardener, a farmer or gaining some form of a simple life on ‘The Gardner’ are quite clear. Even though the grandiose ambitions with the scale of music are seemingly laid out from the very start by taking upon the name ALMA, both of these songs have a smaller outlook. As Lambrou himself says,"ALMA is very inward. A little more personal I suppose" than his previous musical exploits Codes In The Clouds and Monsters Build Mean Robots. However, there is a chance that taking on a name such as ALMA creates a feeling of looking wider and further than before. Whether this is in the sense of overseeing your own garden, family or the cosmos – ALMA recently discovered and proved a rare Einstein Ring, an occurrence which the theoretical physicist it is named after predicted in his theory of relativity, by viewing it despite it being 12 billion light years away.

When asked how the name relates to the band, Lambrou says: "You take bits from your personal taste, put them together and they do usually make sense collectively. It just speaks truthfully about who you are and where you are now. People see straight through anything fake. It's better to let it naturally progress. There's a lot of escapism throughout the album, of looking to or for another world."

Staring down the lens and into the future,Lambrou doesn't see this as a short term project, he sees ALMA as having "hopefully plenty more albums to come" in it. It felt "less protesty and more introverted" and it is a little closer in sound. On the single below, it's certainly close enough to enjoy a headphone moment to with the violins and piano going back and forth. But according to Lambrou the part he's most looking forward to with his new incarnation is the live performance - certainly not a solitary affair. "I'm certainly looking forward to the live performances, there's something much more relaxing about playing in a duo." As for his collaborator, Ciaran Morahan, he's always been a fan and, in his own words, wanted him to "dirty up" the songs a bit.

Dirty? Well, the below single may not be, it's built for fans of the ambient and slow building cinematic sounds of Explosions In The Sky, but we'll see what kind of cosmic filth is chucked out when the album is released on 10th August. For now here's 'The Great Escape' single.