Glass Vaults is a psychedelic off kilter pop group originating out of Wellington, New Zealand.
Public praise includes, “”Glass Vaults is like a never ending dream while I’m half-asleep” (No Fear of Pop), and “trance-inducing, hallucinatory walls of sound that shimmer with ghostly incantations.” (Northern Transmissions).
Since their conception in 2010, the members Richard Larsen, Rowan Pierce, Bevan Smith, Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa have toured throughout New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S.A.
But these “merchants of bliss” have recently added a new member, ASMR, and it has influenced their latest album, The New Happy.
Richard Larsen takes a quick break from his tour to explain how ASMR came to influence the album’s production process, which song has the strongest ASMR influence, and if their future holds more ASMR-inspired projects.
Below are my questions in bold, his replies in italics, and links to learn more about the Glass Vaults and sample their new ASMR-inspired album, The New Happy.
Who was the first to pitch the idea of an ASMR-inspired album – and how did the other band members react?
During the recording process we were interested in singing the lyrics in a breathy “seductive” kind of way… singing and almost whispering in the microphones which were positioned very close to the mouths and with the gain cranked very high. This later informed the mixing and production of the record.
Bevan Smith who mixed the album noticed that the vocals had an ASMR type effect and decided to push the rest of the record in that direction. The rest of the band was completely on-board with his treatment and direction. Glass Vaults is a collaborative project and when one member comes with a strong offer we like to support it.
Which songs have the most ASMR-inspiration? How did ASMR influence their composition?
The song the New Happy as the most breathy/ seductive vocals and in turn is probably the most successful in terms of the ASMR treatment.
How often have you had to explain ASMR to others?
The whole ASMR thing was really just a production inspiration to us, more of an interest in seeing how far we could push into that territory… it only really came late in the piece when we were mixing the album.
When we released the album we added a description on the production methods with the press release and the different media agents really ran with the whole ASMR thing (see links to articles below) … I suppose it was quite a unique story but subsequently it seems a whole bunch of NZ musicians have been developing it in their own way.
How would you explain the difference between frisson and ASMR?
For me ASMR is like the feeling you get when someone might lightly touch the back of your neck and it sends shivers down your spine, though with ASMR it’s obviously brought on by Aural stimuli.
Do you potentially have more ASMR-inspired projects in your future?
Yes we are really keen to keep pushing in this direction and have some ideas about how we might transfer it into a live setting via “Silent Disco” which is exciting for us 🙂
Explore more about the Glass Vaults and their new album, The New Happy:
Read more about the influence of ASMR on their new album:
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This post brought to you by ASMR University. A site with the mission of increasing the awareness, understanding, and research of the Art and Science of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.