ALMA….A Clunk Back and Forth Interview

Hello ALMA….Welcome to the Clunk universe

Please describe your current surroundings so that we can get a picture in our mind’s eye.

Melissa is currently sitting in her friend’s home in West Denver. Looking into the kitchen at her fresh aeropress coffee. Behind her are two dogs and a tabby cat. 

Lillie is cross legged on a big old rug, surrounded by keyboard manuals, a seltzer can, and a tootsie roll wrapper from Sweetwater. Palo santo smoke is twirling in the sun… She wishes there was a cat behind her.

Alba is being a fancy-schmancy European, sitting on the deck of a ferry travelling from the island of Majorca back to the Iberian peninsula. She’s been practicing air-guitar for the last couple of hours and the other travelers are not happy about it. 

Please could you tell us who does what in the band, you know, plays an instrument, writes songs, tinkers with production, makes good tea and toast.

Oh we all do a bit of everything! We all sing, of course, and then –

  • Alba plays bass, guitar, drums, violin, viola, uke and mandolin, sometimes all at once if the show requires it (she’s nuts.) 
  • Lillie plays keys, synth, sometimes glock, violin and hammer dulcimer. She also has a big ole accordion that has made it into a couple of songs (maybe she was a sailor in a past life?)
  • Melissa plays guitar and synths, and makes our live ableton sessions like a champ. 

We all split up the writing and producing evenly: we have each led the development of four songs on our 12-song debut album, but everyone always has a say in every aspect of the creative process. Lillie and Alba are film composers by day and Melissa is in training to be an audio engineer and had a past career as an actor, so we all bring our unique skill sets to the table! Good ole collab bliss.

On top of it all, Lillie bakes amazing bread, Melissa brews fancy coffee, and Alba always has a fun snack on hand that is also probably terrible for you.  

How did the band get together, where are you based and how did the name ALMA come about?

Well… ALMA is an acronym created by our initials (Alba, Lillie, and Mel.) It also means “soul” in Spanish which is fitting since we’ve poured our souls into this project from the start!

We got together in the summer of 2018 through the magic that is New York City. Lillie and Alba met in graduate school for Film Scoring at NYU and Melissa met Lillie while stumbling into a “can you just sing on this song?” for a friend. We already knew we loved singing together from Lillie’s regularly hosted “cheese parties” in Brooklyn where everyone would bring a different kind of cheese and we would play music together at the end of the night. One of those nights the question came up… “hey…why don’t we start a synth pop band?” Pretty wholesome…we know. 

Where and when did you perform together for the first time? How did it go?

We first performed at The Footlight in Ridgewood, Queens co-billing with The Year of the Hare. It was such a sweet show! We were surrounded by friends (both in the band and in the audience) and it felt so warm and cozy. 

The single ‘Sips of Oxygen’ is the latest release, we really like it at Clunk HQ. It has beautiful harmonies. Is this the sound of the upcoming album ‘Mosaic’?

Yes! Three part harmonies and sound design in a storytelling role are a core part of our sound in all our songs. However, in every other way all of our songs are very different! You’ll have to check them all out :P. 

Across the board though, our songs are dream pop. 

Is there a theme throughout ‘Mosaic’? Where was it written and recorded?

There is a theme! Mosaic is a story about our relationship with New York City, our home, but extends beyond the skyscrapers of the city itself and explores how our memories live inside the spaces we inhabit. Through the music itself and through our personal stories, we will invite the audience to sit beside us on the subway, walk with us through Astoria park, and ride the Wonder Wheel at night to form their own relationship with this city that we call home. 

Is there a tour planned around the release of ‘Mosaic’? If you’re coming to the north of England don’t forget Carlisle! Dinner at Clunk HQ!

We sure hope there will be a tour! We’re currently making plans for the summer of 2022, so we’ll see! 

If we were to come to your neck of the woods for a weekend where would you take us? You are the Entertainments Committee!

Wow wow wow. Great question. First we’d hop over to Little Island, a super fun new island in the hudson river off of lower manhattan, then we would head back to Williamsburg Brooklyn, stop by and grab a bite at St Mazie in Williamsburg and if it were a monday night would end at Iona for their Celtic folk night. 

Any bands/artists that you recommend we check out?

Yes. Half Waif is amazing. Elliot Moss is also the best, and he’s mixed the whole album!

Thanks very much for taking the time with Clunk. We hope to catch you performing somewhere soon.

The album ‘Mosaic’ is out on September the 7th. Meanwhile have a listen below. It’s rather lovely.