Vallis Alps announce debut album ‘Cleave’ alongside poignant new single ‘Higher Than This’

The new track contrasts vibey, enigmatic synthpop flavours with striking boldness in its lyrics

Vallis Alps have returned with an enchanting new single titled ‘Higher Than This’, revealing alongside it the details of their long-awaited debut album.

The new track contrasts vibey, enigmatic synthpop flavours with striking boldness in its lyrics, as singer Parisa Tossif muses on her lived experiences with misogyny. In a press release, it’s explained that the song “poses the prospect of a legacy spent belittling others juxtaposed against life beyond the glass ceiling”.

So Tossif said her herself in a statement expounding on its themes: “I am constantly reflecting on my own experiences as a woman in a world that is unequal. I think of the beauty, strength, generosity and advancement of women, and people in general, who continually choose to move forward despite the hurdles, and the richness of their lives, their friendships and their inner worlds. They know what’s ‘higher’.”


Tossif went on to note that she wrote the song alongside Vetta Borne, with whom she was able to connect over “how held back society is” when it comes to mending gender imbalances. She continued: “We continue to fail to give women equal opportunities to men, and show them the respect and honor they deserve. Until then, we will never know our true potential and what we can achieve in every arena.”

Have a look at the accompanying music video for ‘Higher Than This’, (directed and edited by Tanmay Chowdhary), as well as an extended statement from Tossif about the tonal significance of the song, below:

In a statement of his own, Chowdhary said of the music video’s concept: “My thoughts revolved around using a structure that represents the fragility of the male ego and the abandoned power plant on the edge of the shoreline mirrored it perfectly. 

“We built the narrative around these men who guard a peculiar diamond in this towering plant. Parissa plays the role of a spirit that infiltrates this plant. The eventual demise of the men came in the form of their own self-reflections. The film is a continuation of a language that explores the emotional journey of the album.”


The full ‘Cleave’ album is due out independently on August 24, and alongside ‘Higher Than This’, will feature previous singles ‘Set It Off, Set It Right’ and ‘On The Eve Of The Rush’ (which also serve as the first two songs on the LP). 

On their conceptual vision for the 12-track effort, the Sydney-based duo said in a joint statement: “Authenticity was our guide during the writing process. We live in a world crowded by inauthenticity, and our constant pivot for writing songs was whether the themes, instrumentation and process were honouring the spirit of what we wanted to contribute to the world. 

“The album has drawn us closer to who we are. It represents an evolution for us on a personal and sonic level, learning to deal with a new level of complexity as we learnt about detachment outsourcing and sticking to our strengths – far from the initial years of Vallis where we tried to do everything ourselves.”

You can see take a peek cover art and full tracklist for ‘Cleave’ below, with pre-orders for the record available here.

1. ‘Set It Off, Set It Right’
2. ‘On The Eve Of The Rush’
3. ‘Turn It Around’
4. ‘Ephemera’
5. ‘For Once’
6. ‘Start Again’
7. ‘I’m On My Way’
8. ‘Everything All You See’
9. ‘Higher Than This’
10. ‘You & I’
11. ‘All The World’
12. ‘On Highways (Aug 4)’

‘Set It Off, Set It Right’ landed last November and marked Vallis Alps’ first release since 2017, when the pair dropped their second album, ‘Fable’, as well as the standalone singles ‘Oceans’ and ‘So Settled’. 

In the interim, producer David Ansari launched his solo project Davey, which has thus far released one EP – an eponymous six-track effort, arriving in December 2020 on the back of singles ‘Not Me’ and ‘N.I.4.N.I.’. The project also delivered a standalone single, ‘Supra’, which came out last May. Also in 2020, Tossif linked up with Mansionair‘s Lachlan Bostock to debut a children’s music project called Big Kids.

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