Finnish Love Metal pioneer, Ville Valo (VV) of HIM, has announced that he will release his debut solo album, Neon Noir, on January 13, 2023 via Heartagram Records, distributed by UMG/ Spinefarm. He previously shared the single, “Echolocate Your Heart” and he has now revealed the album artwork and the tracklist, which you can check out below.
“Neon Noir is a sonic step-by-step guide on how to survive, and perhaps even enjoy, the realm of VV with its abundance of things that go bump in the night,” says Valo. “It’s a teary mascara marathon between [The Cure’s] Robert Smith and Ozzy, with a dash of hope.”
In the annals of 21st century alternative rock history there are few artists who cast a longer or more peculiar shadow than Finnish Love Metal pioneer Ville Valo. After all, his band HIM were easily among the most iconic and idiosyncratic groups of the millennium. Zealously revered, gleefully reviled but impossible to ignore, their music left an indelible mark on a worldwide legion of fans. The scarlet letters stood for His Infernal Majesty. Their founder stood for something delightedly out of step with the status quo.
“We only hoped to temporarily redirect hard rock’s blood flow from the nether regions towards the heart”, reminisces Ville Valo, the singer, songwriter and primus motor of HIM. Judging by the monolithic presence of the Heartagram in any account of music this side of the millennium it’s apparent that he succeeded.
Inspired by everyone from Poe to Bukowski and tinged by a penchant for perfumed Black Sabbath-esque gloom, Valo’s creative lovechild would produce eight era-defining studio releases and over ten million record sales, not forgetting a Grammy nomination, countless magazine covers, critical acclaim, and the veneration of a generation. Thus it came as no surprise that the news of a farewell tour in 2017 was greeted with shock and disbelief among devotees and endless speculation as to what or who was to take up the velvet mantle.
“As fun as the funeral rites for HIM were, it took me more than a few moons to lick my wounds in the shadow of the Heartagram and come up with an excuse to strum and hum again. Eventually I decided to put a leash on my beloved black dog and we started howling together instead of barking at each other. That’s how VV was born”.
Neon Noir’s tracklist is as follows:
“Echolocate Your Love”
“Run Away From the Sun”
“Salute the Sanguine”
“Heartful of Ghosts”