Chengdu EP is out on June 16th.
So according to Wikipedia. Chengdu is a sub-provincial city which has served as capital of China’s Sichuan province. It’s known as the home of the giant panda, one of the rarest animals in the world. Belfast’s Via: Barvikha are also a rare breed. They craft an emotional alternative rock without being overly earnest, it is intense without being over bearing, and it is melodically rich without becoming trite.
We are delighted to premiere their debut EP below. We also spoke to Chris Leckey (the man behind the moniker) about why each song on the album is named after a person.
1. Willie Woods
Willie Woods is my old housemate, he kinda unintentionally brought me back from a really dark place in my life by literally just being there and hanging out. This is the last song I wrote in the writing period, I just wanted a really punchy 4 chord song that I could play around with. Like many of the other songs I had no idea how they’d turn out once I recorded them, initially it was going to be quite slow and moody but it turned into a beast.
2. Chris Ryan
Chris Ryan is the producer of the EP, he’s also a really great friend and someone I’d consider the last person I’ve become very very close to. There’s this great song by Jean Ritchie called ‘L&N Don’t Stop Here Anymore’, it’s been covered by people like Johnny Cash and Billy Bragg but it has this super simple chord progression and it influenced me to do the same, so it’s 2 chords over and over with some others thrown in. The song is essentially about hit rock bottom only to be dragged back up by friends, it’s pretty positive.
3. Wilson Davidson
Wilson Davidson is my best friend, we used to play in a band called PigsAsPeople and he occasionally plays for me if he’s free. Last year I moved away to China for a couple months and this song is kinda about the moving away process and why I did it. It’s a pretty aggressive song about the state of jobs for young people in the UK & Ireland, that the best you can do is just work in a call centre. Going into recording this song I thought it was going to be the biggest dud, I had none of it written so a lot of it is just made up on the spot and composed as I went along, the bass riff was the turning point of it making the cut, Chris Ryan and myself dubbed it ‘spaces in basses’.
4. Kyle McDonald/Greg Ward
These are two guys I met in China and got super friendly with, in any other situation I would have never been friends with them but because we were all thrown together out there we got on great. This is the real moody song, I wrote this over a long period when I was in Chengdu, it was mostly written in a music room at the school I was teaching in. I remember when I finished it I played it to a kid I taught who was really fascinated by the guitar and he applauded me and told his friends because I had kids looking for me to play it. The cough in the song has been called “the most Chris Leckey thing ever” so Chris Ryan kept it…
Find Via: Barvikha on Facebook.