For VK Lynne, it’s simply a case of mind over matter.
The Los Angeles alt rock singer-songwriter triumphantly tackles lingering self-doubt and paralyzing anxiety on her uplifting new pop-fueled anthem, “Brain Waves,” out now via all streaming platforms.
“I wrote this song several years ago, and finally, this seemed to be the time for it. There are perceptions, expectations and stereotypes about ourselves that we sometimes unknowingly give into and allow ourselves to be held down by other people’s rules. When you finally work out that realization in your mind, your ‘brain waves’ goodbye to the ideas that don’t serve us. There is hope in that departure and freedom,” she said.
Throughout “Brain Waves,” Lynne proudly shares her personal sense of freedom as intermittent vibrant piano, rhythmic finger snaps, humming synths, fuzzy electric guitars, bouncy bass and pounding drums bolster her growing confidence. She soulfully sings, “As it always is/Ain’t how it’s gotta be/Crumpling the page and I’m aiming/For the basket next to me/I’m as empty as the can/Baby can you deal with the drama/Can you fill me up again/And we’ll hold our fire.”
“I usually write my songs in a huge heart-vomiting purge, and this one was no exception. I attempted to put together a production; I played bass, guitar and programmed drums and made the world’s worst mix right after I wrote it. But when I pulled it out this year, I decided that it deserved better,” said Lynne, who plans to release a new video for “Brain Waves” soon.
“My idea was to try something totally different. I’ve done blues, rock, metal and prog, but this had a feel that was decidedly unique to my catalog. I contacted my friends Alexx Calise and Dennis Morehouse of Batfarm. They came on to produce, and we gave this song an upbeat, pop-rock treatment that it seemed to want.”
The Resurrection and the Rebirth
“Brain Waves” serves as Lynne’s first new solo track since 2018’s “Resurrection,” an introspective acoustic blues ballad featured on her companion two-volume poetry audiobook, “The Release and Reclamation of Victoria Kerygma.” It features more than 30 artists and musicians reading select works from her highly personal and imaginative collection of poetry.
As a haunting audiobook opener, “Resurrection” features bright acoustic strums, somber slide guitar and quiet enduring synth as Lynne reflects, “Resurrection/Wretched moments I can’t seem to recognize/Resignation he has planted in my eyes/Tamed affection/Moving forward with the knife between my wrists/In this rigid new construction nothing gives/Mowing hell through the pain/Learned to change again.”
“Regardless of everything else, this has been a really interesting exercise. We did it, and I had written the song ‘Resurrection’ that I wanted to be part of it. Arno Nurmisto played the guitar and produced it like he does and put that in there, and then Nesto Rhea, who does the videos, did that cover art,” said Lynne, who won a Jentel Arts Foundation artist residency in 2015 for her writing.
A longtime accomplished writer, Lynne also pens poignant, captivating lyrics for her symphonic, proggy alt rock duo, The Spider Accomplice, with Nurmisto (guitar, vocals). In July, they dropped the cinematic, contemplative ode to authenticity, “Crawl,” drenched in sorrowful, shiny electric guitars, soaring synths, charging bass and thumping drums. Lynne beautifully sings, “I crawl out of my skin/And see who I am/All that I might have been/Keeps me crawling back again.”
“When I wrote the song and melody, I pictured a snake molting and shedding its skin, and at the time, I was feeling really badly about myself and feeling like I was a snake. I was writing it as an indictment to myself, like ‘You suck,’ and of course, Arno makes it more inspirational, like ‘No, you don’t suck,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, you’re right.’ Sometimes you gotta get out of your skin and be who you really are,” she said.
Lynne beautifully demonstrates a transformative moment in the video for “Crawl,” which features her wearing and tearing a pink snakesuit in a mountainous park. Meanwhile, Nurmisto heads to the park in search of Lynne after receiving a mysterious letter from her.
The duo teamed up with directors Henry Dhuy, Sean McHugh and Rhea to film the socially-distanced video near Los Angeles in mid-June. It was a sweltering day to climb dry, rocky terrain while recording reptilian-like shots for “Crawl.”
“We’re so glad that we did it as much work as it was. Arno was sore after climbing, and we both were beat up pretty good. It was worth it because of the responses we’ve gotten from people who’ve been so touched by that video. Somebody got something positive out of this in the midst of this pandemic. I’m like, ‘Well, if we can do that, then what else can we do?” Lynne said.
Lynne and Nurmisto continue to demonstrate their alt rock prowess on “Enough,” an electrifying, headstrong anthem about starting anew and aiming high. Swift, spirited electric guitars, hammering drums and propulsive bass push listeners forward as Lynne challenges, “Helium hate/Granite love/Shook you dead awake/With fire from above/Awakening is her/How it is ain’t how it was/It’s gonna be the year/You see the pain you held so dear/Will never be enough.”
“Arno and I both wanted to write something more upbeat because we were feeling excited about this new direction. We’re like, ‘We’re gonna go for this as a duo. We’re gonna get on stage as a duo. This is the new Spider Accomplice. We’re making this happen.’ We wanted a high-energy song to kick that off and encourage people if they’re feeling stuck or in a holding pattern to get out there and get more,” said Lynne, who stars with Nurmisto in a high-octane, LA-centric video for “Enough.”
The Trilogy and the Beginning
Together, Lynne and Nurmisto, who’s originally from Finland, started spinning their elaborate prog-alt rock web for The Spider Accomplice in 2014. They met while performing together in a previous band and decided to form their own project with drummer Justin Lee Dixon after the band split up.
Initially a three-piece, The Spider Accomplice released a trilogy of spellbinding concept EPs, The Trap (2015), Los Angeles: The Abduction (2016) and Los Angeles: The Dichotomy (2018), about Bromelaid’s captive adventures in Los Angeles.
After Dixon departed in 2018, Lynne and Nurmisto spun The Spider Accomplice into a powerhouse duo focused on releasing a new single and video every three months for fans. A year later, they dropped a glistening acoustic cover of the Thirty Seconds to Mars track, “Hurricane,” from 2009’s This Is War.
“Arno and I realized we had a lot of the same influences, and we both wanted to do the same thing. We wanted to create this symphonic rock with a blues element and maybe some prog, mash it all together and make something new,” Lynne said.
“And I feel like that kind of solidified us as a duo, and I think the reason we can be that open as a duo is because we’re not worried about anything else. We can focus on our own performance, and we just go out, rock the place and be done.”
Lynne started rocking out while growing up in Philadelphia and listening to her mother play The Beatles and Patsy Cline. By age 12, she auditioned for “Jesus Christ Superstar” and landed a part in a local community theater production, which prompted Lynne to practice singing hours a day and hone her voice as her primary instrument.
Six years later, Lynne started playing guitar in college and developed a deep appreciation for Melissa Etheridge, Skid Row and “The Phantom of the Opera.” That inspired her to pursue music, relocate to Los Angeles and release three solo albums before creating an international symphonic metal project called Vita Nova in 2008.
“When I write songs, I definitely like to put a lot of meaning into them, and I like the lyrics to be important. But I also think they should be well sung; and I know those things usually fall into two different genres. People are often like, ‘Well, what are you?’ I’m like, ‘I’m pink; that’s what I am,’” said Lynne, who adorns a trademark bright pink curly mane.
In 2013, she joined the prog metal band stOrk, which featured late Korn guitarist Shane Gibson, and released Broken Pieces. With Gibson’s unexpected passing, stOrk quickly disbanded leaving Lynne to co-found and front The Spider Accomplice a year later.
With The Spider Accomplice in full gear, Lynne and Nurmisto will continue to host weekly “Saturday Night Live Acoustic” livestream sessions to perform for viewers during the pandemic. They also will weave a new web of duo and solo tunes for their growing fan base worldwide.
“Arno and I are nearly ready to release two new songs, and we have several more written. That will come next; then we’ll see about more solo material,” she said.