Former HIM frontman Ville Valo’s first solo album, VV’s ‘Neon Noir,’ was made available on January 13th, 2023. Fans of Valo and HIM are sure to love the album because it continues his previous band’s signature 80s MOR-goth feel. The album can also now be purchased directly through our shop.
VV’s ‘Neon Noir’ is an album with a distinctive sound and imagery that combines soaring choruses with acoustic guitars to attract listeners. The album is made available by Universal Music/Spinefarm Records through Heartagram Records. ‘Neon Noir’ is certain to be a fan favorite thanks to its gorgeous images and alluring soundtrack.
For those unfamiliar with the musician, Ville Valo is a Finnish singer, songwriter, and musician. He is best known as the lead vocalist of the gothic rock band HIM.
Helsinki, Finland-based HIM was a gothic rock band founded by Ville Valo, the band’s original lead singer, and Mikko “Mige” Paananen, the bassist, created the group in 1991. His Infernal Majesty was the original name of HIM before it was changed to HIM in 1995.
HIM rose to a higher status in the gothic metal scene thanks to its unique musical deftness. HIM’s musical style combines gothic rock and heavy metal with elements of doom metal and hard rock. They are renowned for their melodic sound and romantic lyrics.
HIM released their debut album ‘Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666’ in 1997, which was a success in Finland, achieving Platinum status. The band’s following albums, ‘Razorblade Romance’ (2000), ‘Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights’ (2001), ‘Love Metal’ (2003), ‘Dark Light’ (2005), ‘Venus Doom’ (2007), and ‘Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice’ (2010) all achieved commercial success, with ‘Love Metal’ and ‘Razorblade Romance’ both achieving Platinum status in Finland. Unfortunately, HIM completed a farewell tour in 2017, closing the final chapter of the band’s twenty-six-year career.
Ville Valo also teamed up with guitar legend Esa Pulliainen to record an album based on songs by the late, legendary Finnish singer Rauli “Badding” Somerjoki. The self-titled album by Ville Valo & Agents was released in February 2019 and was followed by a short tour.
Ville Valo & Agents was formed in 2018, composed of Ville Valo and Agents members Topi Sorsakoski, Sakari Kukko, Jukka Gustavson, and Janne Puhakka. The band’s sound combines classic rock, pop, and alternative rock elements.
Ville Valo & Agents has gained a following in the alternative rock scene and has performed at several music festivals in Europe, the United States of America, and Japan. The band has been praised for their unique sound and captivating live performances.
Valo’s first single from ‘Neon Noir,’ a song titled ‘Loveletting,’ was made available in April 8th, 2022. After the March 2020 publication of the three-track ‘Gothica Fennica Vol. 1’ EP, which was also distributed by VV, this was his first new music in more than two years.
The single comes with a music video that is a unique and captivating interpretation of the classic 80s MOR-goth sound.
The video opens with a scene of a moody landscape, with Valo standing in the foreground, meaningfully wielding an umbrella. As the video progresses, we get glimpses of Valo’s encounter with a mysterious black sheep and it is not long before the two of them are engaging in a romantic candlelit dinner.
The visuals are mesmerizing and captivating, and the song itself is a soaring MOR-goth anthem, with billowing choruses and acoustic guitars that reflect the artist’s seriousness. Valo’s performance in the video is outstanding, and he gives off a sense of longing yet a powerful presence.
Speaking about the quite familiar name, Heartagram Records, it is a record label founded by Ville Valo and his former band HIM. The label was founded in 2000 and has released most of HIM’s albums, as well as albums from other bands and artists.
Heartagram Records first gained recognition with the release of HIM’s second album, ‘Razorblade Romance,’ in 2000. The album was a huge success, selling over two million copies worldwide, and earned the band a nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 2001 Grammy Awards. Since then, the label has gone on to release albums from artists such as Ville Valo’s solo project VV, the gothic rock band VCTMS, and the metalcore band God is an Astronaut.
In addition to releasing music, Heartagram Records has also released various merchandise, such as t-shirts, hats, and posters, featuring the heartagram logo. The logo was created by Valo, and has become a symbol for HIM and the label. It is a combination of a heart and a pentagram, and is often associated with the band’s gothic rock sound.
Heartagram Records has also recently started to release vinyl records, and has made a deal with Universal Music to distribute their releases. This has allowed Heartagram to reach a wider audience and gain more recognition for their artists.
Overall, Heartagram Records has been a major success for HIM and their associated artists, and has become a well-known label throughout the world. With their continued success and releases, Heartagram Records is sure to remain a major force in the music industry.
Ville Valo spoke to Kerrang! Magazine about the lyrical inspiration for ‘Neon Noir,’ stating: “I wouldn’t call it ‘suicidal,’ but most of the stuff was written during the pandemic, and there weren’t many rays of sun hitting me. Everybody was in the mental gutter. Times were tough. This album was the kind of like the lifebuoy for me. It gave me a reason to wake up every morning and work on something else and try to shut the world outside.”
Ville also spoke to Metal Hammer Magazine about the musical direction of ‘Neon Noir.’ He said: “The new stuff definitely does sound like HIM. But I did write most of the songs, so… I’m to blame for that. It’s a continuous journey from HIM for me. A lot of people when they move on to solo projects want to distance themselves from the past, burn bridges and start their solo career. It’s different for me. VV is me building a bridge between HIM and the future. That’s what ‘Neon Noir’ is.”
Ville Valo has released the official music video for the title track from his debut solo album, ‘Neon Noir.’ The video, which was released on Friday, January 13th, showcases Valo’s mesmerizing vocals and emotive performance over a mix of ’80s-inspired synths and powerful rock riffs.
The accompanying visuals portray a story of a man’s journey through a dark and mysterious world, as he is guided by mysterious entities. The video was directed by Vares Tervomaa, who also directed HIM’s music video for their hit single ‘Right Here in My Arms.’
With the release of the video, fans of Valo and HIM can now experience the song in its full glory, as the track is a testament to Valo’s songwriting prowess and ability to create powerful and emotive music.
Ville Valo recently announced a major tour for 2023, which will take him to Europe and the United States of America. The tour will kick off in Helsinki this month and will end in New York in May.