AVR (Anna von Raison) has today released her new album titled ‘Salvation’. Using a vast collection of styles, knowledge, know-how, and creative mayhem, AVR takes all of that and more and culminates it all into a giant melting and molding pot full of ideas with genres and styles cascading and colliding with the panache of a true artist.

Each song has a hook and every lyric tells a story. One of the first things I thought with this first listen was how diverse and complete each track sounds and how, at the end of that last song, it felt more like I had just put down a book as much as I had heard an album.

And this is the best way to listen to ‘Salvation’. In order and as a complete story. Press play and drown the world out.

About AVR

AVR is a polymath exploring on the intersection of art and music, innovation and tradition, shrugging off the cliches of her industry. Her work operates in a landscape of references to where Philip Glass, Grimes, Rihanna and Bernini sculptures can freely collide.

Tired of the repetitive practice routine during her academic jazz piano studies in Amsterdam and New York, AVR started to produce anthems for the new feeling-everything-all-the-time internet era on her laptop. Often compared to artists James Bake, Sampha, Grimes and FKA twigs

The multi-genre producer has since scored films for brands like Louis Vuitton and Dior, worked as a studio pianist and producer for artists like Charlotte Gainsbourg, Tusks, Soundwalk Collective and Franny London. She consults and performs in fine arts context, e.g. at Gropius Bau Berlin and works as music curator, recently for Berlin’s ‘Long Night of Museums’ and performed at the National Gallery. Her song ‘Under The Sand’ is on the official soundtrack of the US movie ‘After Everything’.

Her latest release, a rework of Philip Glass’ ‘Etude No.2′ got released on Glass’ label alongside an immersive video in wardrobe collab. with french fashion house MUGLER. Supported by BBC stations and publications like CLASH Mag., Rolling Stone, The Fader and i-D, her music got international attention right from EP1.

AVR’s live highlights include concerts for TED, Berlin’s ‘Berghain Kantine’, Berlin ‘Philharmonie’, ‘Notting Hill Arts Club’ London and ‘Baby’s All Right’ New York.

AVR is a solo act in the truest sense: she writes, produces, records and publishes her music herself and not only wants to maintain her independence, but also actively works to create a new and feminist-influenced status quo in the music world and has mentored for programs like ‘Girls Who Listen’ and ‘Keychange’.

About ‘Salvation’

For AVR, salvation is the state of being saved and protected from harm. On June 7, her debut album ‘Salvation’ delivers a summer softness that we can all melt into, a musical protection. Four years in the making, the LP is independently published and released. It was written, produced, and mixed by the artist, with additional production from Fergus Frost and Matthias Biermann.

The result is a future pop sound for the feeling-everything-all-the-time internet era. ‘Salvation’ sprawls musical genres, within timeless songwriting structures. The album is warmer and softer than the previous 2 EPs, giving more room to the jazz and neo soul notes of her work as a jazz pianist, academically trained at the Amsterdam Conservatory, and with Jason Moran in New York.

‘Salvation’ is the last act of a trilogy, and follows EP2 ,’Vibration’, which flirts with abrasive sound design details, and break beats. EP1 ‘Hallucination’, was driven by classical piano fragments. This new 12 track LP contains 2 instrumentals and 10 songs, and features guest soloists Viktor Wolf on bass clarinet and tenor saxophone, and Sylvia Hlynsdottir on trumpet. The trilogy represents Anna’s genesis as AVR, establishing her solo artist identity, next to her behind the scenes work: as a studio pianist and producer for artists like Charlotte Gainsbourg, Soundwalk Collective, Tusks, and Franny London. Describing her process, AVR says:

‘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.’

On ‘Salvation’, this approach results in hazy ambient journeys combining jazzy choirs, cinematic strings, Motown bass, trip hop drums, and bright vocals. Tame Impala-style synth solos appear, while experimental bits of sound toy with the warm breeze.

‘Salvation’ Track By Track

The LP opens with an ambient instrumental piece ‘Acknowledgement. Stay Soft’ with bass clarinets and saxophones recorded by long time friend Viktor Wolf, inspired by the opening track of the ‘Love Supreme’ album by John Coltrane.

In ‘Confirm Humanity’ AVR poses one of the most central questions of the human quest: ‘How are we supposed to live with all that dark and doubt, inside of us, how can we let it out?’ This query is carried on a bed of cinematic orchestral string chords.

In ‘A closer touch, a plan of art’ the listener finds AVR apologetic about bodily temptations while she acknowledges they’re engraved in us as part of naturer’s ‘artful plan’.

‘SKIN’s gospel inspired choirs, along with a Motown bass, with lyrics by AVR’s favorite artist Jenny Holzer, take the listener into trumpet clouds recorded by former Björk band member Sylvia Hlynsdottir.

‘Falling High’ debates resurrection, and the possibility of surviving one’s downfall. It is carried by mellotron flutes and choirs into a big drum and synth solo c-part.

‘No Talent for Balance’ is a Madonna inspired trip hop drum haze featuring vocals from long time collaborators Fergus Frost (aka Goze Bumper) and LA based Matthias Biermann (aka jeanfprince). The track culminates in a Tame Impala style synth solo.

The ‘Interlude: Pianos in Heaven’ bathes the piano chords in a sea of effects, while taking into a nightly ecstasy reminiscent of early Aphex Twin.

‘Nous Aimons on 80bpm’ is a futuristic love anthem taking from Debussy, dissolving into Enya- like new-age, ambient waters.

‘Anthem To My Fear’ is created around a jazz piano loop and features full trumpet chords recorded by Sylvia Hlynsdottir examining the fear to love and to fail.

Incomplete Systems is a warm jazz guitar ballad (guitar played by Matthias Biermann) which asks how we can collectively juggle the constant overwhelm of an ever changing environment without sacrificing our dreams and visions.

‘Honeys of EJ’ is a song that pays tribute to AVR’s love for Elton John’s Songwriting, trying to find a chord progression in that spirit, it opens a sonic world reminiscent of Frank Ocean.

‘Stars In The Room’ is the finale of this LP and meant to give an outlook of what to expect from AVR in the future. The Intro is a reharmonization of a part of ‘In A Sentimental Mood’ by Duke Ellington that keeps growing into a Hip Hop track with duet vocals by Matthias Biermann (aka jeanfprince).