Fueled by a deep love for the natural world, LA-based dream pop outfit Alnilam offers a pristine blend of compelling ambience and ethereal songwriting. Putting the themes of love, loss, transformation, mortality and memory to tape comes naturally to Alnilam’s core duo who have traveled the world several times over. Singer-songwriter Elena Pinto is of wild Costa Rican ancestry and multi-instrumentalist Serhat Arslan is from a coastal city in northern Turkey.
Elena moved to Santa Monica in 2011 and felt powerfully drawn to songwriting. She soon pulled Serhat into her orbit who just arrived in LA himself two weeks earlier. Elena experimented with Serhat’s various instrumentals and they soon hit upon a sound that excited them both. They began to develop their songs while building an organic base of passionate Soundcloud fans, ending up on the website's trending list twice in 2014. The duo recently welcomed members Jordan Sommerlad, Quinn Dean, and Trevor Martin.
Elena’s vocals conjure up emotive female singers such as Marianne Faithfull and Dolores O'Riordan of The Cranberries while the music veers between the post-rock richness of Explosions in the Sky and the magical ambient sense of Yann Tiersen and Beach House all the while evoking Europa folkloric traditions. Thinking back on her musical origins, Elena recollects: “I’ve always been singing. I sang to my parents in the car and my friends behind the school library. I sang to the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic, too. I spent countless hours singing along to my older brother’s amazing record collection, standing next to the speakers so I could hear every little nuance.”
The name Alnilam is the middle star in Orion’s Belt and is derived from an Arab word which means “string of pearls”. The description suits the unearthly quality of the band’s debut album, Indigo Sky, which lyrically navigates the rough emotional tides of our modern times. Elena states “When I was little I lamented the 60’s were over and I had missed them. Now we find ourselves in another time of change and we all have a chance to be a part of it.”