Tradition dictates that the John Lewis Christmas advert – a tradition that’s now 10 years old, even if it seems like longer – sees a band doing a downtempo cover of a popular song. This year, the song is Randy Crawford’s ‘One Day I’ll Fly Away’, and the band following in the footsteps of singers such as Ellie Goulding, Tom Odell and Lily Allen are Vaults, as reported by music industry newsletter Record of the Day on November 7. For some, that might prompt the question: Who are Vaults? Here’s what you need to know.
They’re a south London electro trio
Vaults are very synthy, and they were formed by instrumentalist Barney Freeman, producer Ben Vella and vocalist Blythe Pepino in 2013. Initially they signed to indie label National Anthem. Now they’re on a major label, Virgin EMI.
They’ve not released an album yet
They’ve released just a handful of singles since starting out – their first track ‘Cry No More’ was a Soundcloud success and they released an EP, ‘Vultures’ in 2014. They’ve spent the past couple of years playing shows in the UK, Europe and America alongside musicians like London Grammar, Paolo Nutini and Jack Garratt. Their debut album looks like it’s on the way soon, because they’ve been posting about it on social media – it’s already on vinyl, look.
They were on the 50 Shades soundtrack
Last year they were among The Weeknd and Ellie Goulding on the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack with their single ‘One Last Night’, which you can hear below. It’s had almost 18m views on YouTube, putting their combined video-view total at around 20m.
They like visuals
“All three of us have always loved groups that push their visual element,” said band member Ben Vella in a recent interview, “and now we’re in the rare position of having people around us to help realise our mad ideas.” Check out ‘Vultures’ below:
They’re big fans of Alt-J, Foals and Björk
Writing about the below Alt-J cover, they said, “We are all massive fans of these guys. They make such exciting choices in their music and we thought this particular track, with the Miley sample, would sound really interesting interpreted by a female voice.” They’ve also covered Foals’ “mammoth” ‘Mountain At My Gates’ and Björk’s “sublime” ‘All Is Full Of Love’, which you can check out on their Soundcloud channel.