Vaults: Caught In Still Life by Dan Guthrie

Caught In Still Life is the debut album by London band Vaults and it’s filled with thirteen tracks of perfectly refined electronica. The band is made up of Ben Vella and Barney Freeman, who provide the synths and beats over which the vocals of Stroud based Blythe Pepino’s soar. 

The album has been a while in the making, but they have been pretty busy, having released their debut EP Vultures in 2014, and amassing over 20 million YouTube views since then. They’ve also landed a couple of big gigs in their time such as recording songs for the sultry scenes of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, and more recently for the canine capers of the John Lewis Christmas advert where they covered Randy Crawford’s iconic One Day I’ll Fly Away with a full orchestra. Even so, their first full length release shows them at their finest.

The album gets off to a great start with Cry No More, which opens with twinkling bells and soft strings backing Blythe’s lovesick vocals, before the synthesised bass kicks in after a minute and a half to ramp up the viciousness of the track. Songs such as One Last Night, with its glacial strings, and the piano-led Overcome highlight the heartbreak that has gone into the shaping of this album. But for me, Poison, featuring Björk-esque vocals against a thumping drumbeat, best highlights the band’s talents. Here Pepino’s voice works perfectly with Vella and Freeman’s electronic soundscape of emotions. Vaults are sure to go to big places in future, and this album is just a taster of what they have planned...

Dan Guthrie is an aspiring teenage journalist with a passion for music, who lives in Stroud. He can be found on twitter at @danylkurtbeng, and writes a blog called Black Boy in Da Burbs