This is VONAMOR, and they make music. Allow me to introduce you.
On vocals, bass and metal flute we have Giulia Bottaro
Her sister Francesca Bottaro makes music on the drum station, sequencer, saxophone, clarinet, and synth.
Luca Guidobaldi does vocals, and he does them very well.
Francesco Bassoli is heard on the LP playing guitars and loops.
For live performances, Martino Cappelli can be heard on guitars, mandolin, bouzouki, oud, and more loops.
“VONAMOR is an escape plan, our treasure island, a thick and savage jungle that gives you the chance to let your prayers and whispers reverberate like a church. We used the music in this album to walk paths that we hadn’t known before, to connect Rome to Paris to Berlin to Beijing, to mix techno music with folk, to let our voices and bodies mingle and dance to an incredibly weird yet familiar beat, and finally to search for a boom of love and light into the dark of our everyday’s life: yes, VONAMOR is a boom!” says Luca Guidobaldi.
“Through our darkwave music and words, we search for the question, the ambiguity, the multiform influence of a variety of demons. We feel the urgency of questioning ourselves, our fellow human beings and the reality around us,” says Giulia Bottaro.
VONAMOR incorporates electronic beats with elements of punk, hits of classical music and clever lyrics written in several different languages, including English, Italian, French, German and even Chinese.
VONAMOR also has more than passing interest in Russian history, especially the last hundred years, give or take a decade. The first hint of this is their band name. I googled vonamor and found next to nothing. I thought it might be associated with amor, the Spanish word for love and von is used to establish places of origin. And it might be the start of something lovely, or it could be a ruse to distract me.
Because it then occurred to me that it VONAMOR is ROMANOV spelled backwards. So after listening to this album half a dozen times and coming up empty-handed, I went back, and I listened to the lyrics and the music in a new light. That new light shone upon the end of the Russian Empire through the Bolshevik revolution that led to the creation of Soviet Russia, which birthed the Soviet Union and eventually became the nation of Russia that we have today.
Through clever lyrics and the use of music as a medium to tell stories, VONAMOR takes us on a journey starting in “Empire 2049.” They begin at the end of the story in many ways, such as placing us in an abandoned Soviet building. But they tie Russia of today to the revolution of over a hundred years ago, “a place where all your enemies would bring you and tie you up.” Not much has changed over all those years, and still, “your empire grieves for you.”
Lucky You, “the world as you think you know it is ending.” In fact, “all empires are ending” through the Great War, the Bolshevik Revolution and Ukraine today. “We’ve got just the walls left and the wars left, and they’re not so cold anymore.” History is relegating the Cold War to the history books and ushering in a new era. A new age where “There’s no more truth, it’s all fake news and fake truths and things that have been misunderstood. Misunderstood. Be afraid.”
We should be afraid because what we see happening from the comfort of our homes may not be this way for long. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Lucky you.
Never Betray Us might have some deeper meaning than what we hear but what grabs me on this one is the haunting vocals and that exhilarating bass driving the song forward.
I’ll skip along a couple of songs here. They are good ones, too, but I like Mother Night. It builds on a riff that carries us through what I think is French, but it doesn’t even matter at this stage because I am being carried away by the music. It is fast, it is furious, it is love, it is fear, it is a plea—a plea for you to stay by my side. Please stay by my side because I am afraid.
Fast Forward Girl is a thrashing track that brought visions of Grace Slick to mind, which takes us to the closing track of this album, Wilderness. Between the start of this album with the Empire of the Romanov family, where does all this lead us? It led the Romanov family to the wilderness. In the wilderness of Russia, the remains of Nicholas, Alexandra and three of their children were found. We have travelled from an empire to a wilderness in 36 minutes. What a trip! Thank you VONAMOR
‘Vonamor’ LP teaser https://youtu.be/zsHYz9EN968
Album order https://bfan.link/vonamor
‘You The People’ https://youtu.be/ZV84m-m2xus
‘Take Your Heart’ https://youtu.be/jmlNr0qzEZQ
Order the single https://linktr.ee/vonamor_band
‘Never Betray Us’ https://youtu.be/Ll7nO0cXI_A
‘Fast-Forward Girl’ https://youtu.be/kJX7Uujc9E4
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