Music Spotlight: Vök
Indie-electro trio Vök gets introspective with their sophomore album In The Dark. The 11-track record is full of shadowy, chill tunes, which when listened to in succession, is the musical equivalent to a self-help book. The Icelandic trio, composed of Andri Már, Margrét Rán + Einar Stef, is taking a step away from electronic production + featuring more live instrumentation than their previous releases. We chatted with Margrét all about the album + their current tour. Ps. May we suggest listening to Scarcity + Night & Day on repeat?
Asymmetric Magazine: Congrats on In The Dark—we're digging the album so much! Can you tell us what this record is all about?
Margrét Rán: This album is an insight to what I was feeling at that time. The best way to explain the concept of the album is to go from the first song to the last and see how it’s kind of set up like a self-help book. I wanted to put a few personal concepts out in a way that I could explain how it affected me and how I have worked—and in some cases still work—on getting over those feelings. I feel like if listeners can relate to some of the concepts I talk about on the album, I could also tell them how I’ve worked on them. If the listener feels trapped in some way in their thoughts on these subjects, I could hopefully give them something to adopt into their thinking, which usually revolves around letting go and sometimes just trying not to give a fuck.
AM: Is there a track on the album that you resonate with the most?
MR: I don’t think that there is one song that has the most meaning or I resonate with the most. The whole album is pretty personal, and all the lyrics have a meaning close to me.
AM: Are there any consistent themes you typically pursue through your music?
MR: On this album, I was working with a few personal concepts. On our last album, it wasn’t as personal and more about general human behavior.
AM: We hear lots of genres coming together in your music. How do you like to describe your sound?
MR: We usually use the term ‘sappy’ or ‘sad bangers’ to describe it.
AM: Your first EP Tension was synth and sax based. Give us a glimpse into your studio for In The Dark. Who does what, and how much is live instrumentals vs. electronic production compared to your earlier releases?
MR: Yes that's right. The first two EPs were more electronic-based—digital soft synths meets guitar and saxophone. In The Dark has much more live instruments than our first EPs. Figure has quite a lot of instruments, too, so I guess we have been moving further from the electronic production. But the main difference is there's no saxophone, and we have quite a lot of bass guitar, and the soundscape has changed. The process usually starts with me making a beat or some kind of core production and throw it over to Einar, and he plays around with it and then both of us play around with it. Adding some instruments on top, we then take our song usually to a producer, which was James Earp in this album’s case, and we work together from there.
AM: You just finished the first part of your EU tour and will start the second part later this month—what can fans expect to see at a Vök show?
MR: We are playing a lot of new songs, and we are going to be touring with our own light engineer for the first time on a headline tour, which will make the show more visually enjoyable, as well.
AM: Tell us a favorite memory from the tour so far.
MR: The tour was filled with good coffee, tears of joy and laughter, amazing doughnuts, a good crew and amazing audiences. It was a really good one.
AM: What other musicians are you currently listening to?
MR: Billie Eilish, Little Dragon, Slenderbodies, Jungle and Tame Impala to name a few.
AM: Where is one place that you feel completely in touch with your creative self and your music?
MR: In my little studio in my apartment in Hafnafjörður. I love it so much.
AM: What can we expect to hear from you next?
MR: That’s a good question—we don’t even know ourselves. Going to tour the album for a fair bit and write more music on the side. We are thinking/dreaming about going somewhere tropical to write the next album, so we are discussing that now, but let’s see where this album takes us for now.