Based in London, Distant Voices is the solo project of Valdis Stekelis, who wrote and began writing these tracks in 2019, finally finishing a year later due to the delayed realities of the UK lockdown. The band name itself was chosen during that period to reflect these unusual times, where live music (as we have previously experienced it) is a scarce occurrence and where we consume music with a less personal connection to the people making it.
Like the tracks on the album as a whole, ‘Lights of the City’ was inspired by Stekelis’ travels around Europe, based on events from that extensive journey. This lead track reflects the beginning of this trip with all its excitement and promise, but also a light sense of anxiety about what lies ahead.
This album was recorded at EAS Studios near London in collaboration with producer-engineer Ed Sokolowski, who has worked on albums by Melanie C, Fleur East, Hugel, David Archuleta and Lukas Rieger. Sokolowki mixed and mastered this album, as well as co-producing it with Stekelis. Joe Montague also contributes drums on multiple tracks.
“This is the first body of work completed under the Distant Voices name, which I am very keen for people to hear and hope that they will enjoy it. The album was inspired by events that happened during my journey around Europe in 2019 and, in fact, they appear chronologically in the track listing,” says Valdis Stekelis.
“There is a range of different feeling tracks on the album – from lively to melancholy and also psychedelic. They are tied together – both in terms of the subject matter and also due to the underlying elements of a retro feel with electronic flavour. It was a lot of fun to make and is truly inspired by events that really affected me at the time”.