AVR’s ‘Salvation’: A track-by-track exploration of musical evolution

"I love collaging and clashing musical bits that typically don’t live in the same world - I am looking for that new sound, seeking innovation but also romance"
7 June 2024
Photo by Alex de Brabant

FM Premiere

With a distinguished portfolio that includes compositions for esteemed brands like Louis Vuitton and Dior, as well as collaborations with ​t​op figures such as Charlotte Gainsbourg and Soundwalk Collective, AVR asserts herself as a commanding presence in the music industry.

Unveiling her captivating debut album, Salvation, AVR grants a glimpse into her unique and captivating musical style. The standout single, Stars In The Room, showcases AVR’s fearless approach to music, drawing inspiration from a diverse array of artists ranging from Philip Glass to Grimes, Rihanna, and even the classical sculptor Bernini.

Seamlessly blending innovation with tradition, AVR transcends genre boundaries, crafting a musical journey that is both refreshing and magnetic.

Salvation, the result of four years of unwavering dedication, epitomizes AVR’s musical evolution. Independently released, the album highlights AVR’s versatile talent as a solo artist, seamlessly blending jazz and neo-soul influences with pop elements and experimental soundscapes.

AVR (Anna von Raison) explains: ‘I love collaging and clashing musical bits that typically don’t live in the same world – I am looking for that new sound, seeking innovation but also romance. I try to avoid the dangerous temptations of musical training. Working from instinct, I give the subconscious free reign, into an ecstatic flow. For me, making music is like scoring the movies in my head.’

Photo by Alex de Brabant

Featuring guest performances by Viktor Wolf and Sylvia Hlynsdottir, Salvation unfolds as a captivating auditory delight that captivates listeners from start to finish. From ambient instrumental interludes to gospel-infused choirs and groovy Motown basslines, each track on the album embodies AVR’s visionary creativity.

Music industry media have drawn comparisons between her music and the unique styles of celebrated artists such as James Blake, Sampha, Grimes, and FKA twigs. As AVR persists in shaping her identity within the music scene, Salvation emerges as a bold testament to her artistic mastery.

With its boundary-pushing essence and introspective lyricism, the album embodies AVR’s dedication to creating music that surpasses boundaries and resonates with listeners globally.

Photo by Alex de Brabant

instagram.com/annavr

Salvation Track By Track

The journey begins with the ambient instrumental piece Acknowledgement. Stay Soft, featuring bass clarinets and saxophones played by long-time friend Viktor Wolf, inspired by the opening track of John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ album.

In Confirm Humanity, AVR poses a fundamental question about the human experience: ‘How do we navigate the darkness and doubt within us?’ This introspective query is carried by cinematic orchestral string chords.

A Closer Touch, A Plan of Art finds AVR grappling with bodily temptations while acknowledging their inherent presence in nature’s design.

SKIN channels gospel-inspired choirs and Motown basslines, with lyrics by AVR’s favorite artist Jenny Holzer, accompanied by trumpet clouds recorded by former Björk band member Sylvia Hlynsdottir.

Falling High delves into themes of resurrection and overcoming downfall, propelled by mellotron flutes and choirs leading into a dynamic drum and synth solo.

No Talent for Balance offers a trip-hop drum haze inspired by Madonna, featuring vocals from long-time collaborators Fergus Frost (aka Goze Bumper) and LA-based Matthias Biermann (aka jeanfprince), culminating in a Tame Impala-style synth solo.

The Interlude: Pianos in Heaven immerses piano chords in a sea of effects, evoking a nocturnal ecstasy reminiscent of early Aphex Twin.

Nous Aimons on 80bpm is a futuristic love anthem drawing from Debussy, transitioning into Enya-like new-age ambient sounds.

Anthem To My Fear revolves around a jazz piano loop and features full trumpet chords by Sylvia Hlynsdottir, exploring the fear of love and failure.

Incomplete Systems is a warm jazz guitar ballad (performed by Matthias Biermann) contemplating how to navigate life’s constant changes without compromising dreams and visions.

Honeys of EJ pays homage to AVR’s admiration for Elton John’s songwriting, evoking a sonic landscape reminiscent of Frank Ocean.

Stars In The Room serves as the LP’s finale, offering a glimpse into AVR’s future. The intro reharmonizes a section of Duke Ellington’s ‘In A Sentimental Mood,’ gradually evolving into a hip-hop track featuring duet vocals by Matthias Biermann (aka jeanfprince).