Sci-Fi Romance
Gig Seeker Pro

Sci-Fi Romance

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




Sci-Fi Romance is the performing name of LA based Vance Kotrla. A refugee from death metal, Kotrla has now DIY-produced an acoustic alt-folk record, …and surrender my body to the flames. And to go with it, he’s put together “found footage run amok” using material from 1930’s sci-fi and public information films (genres close to my heart!) as the video for track “Gulliver Foyle”.

The song starts off pretty slowly it has to be said, but about a minute in it picks up a rollicking drumbeat which really begins to drive it along and keeps the song on exactly the right side of earnest. There’s a kind of a post-apocalyptic dourness to it (does that make it post-apocalyptic folk or apocalyptic post-folk?); but it’s well crafted and the freshness of the sound makes for a nice contrast with the images of doom and destruction that flash past.

You can purchase the album at Sci-Fi Romance’s bandcamp page, where the proceeds in their entirety will be donated to, a non-profit group building freshwater wells in developing nations.

Bonus points in the video for the use of footage from the 1936 adaptation of H.G. Wells’ Things to Come - The Music Slut

"CD Review: Sci-Fi Romance: ...and surrender my body to the flames"

Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Vance Kotrla is a man of many talents. He once played drums for death metal band Black Spiral and formed his own production company, Broken Image Entertainment, shortly after graduating from high school. Now he has turned his attention to music, releasing a solo CD, ..and surrender my body to the flames, under the moniker Sci-fi Romance. The name was inspired by a review of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which described the film as a “sci-fi romance.”

…and surrender my body to the flames has already placed on a Best of 2010 list from a Dutch music blog. Even a cursory listen to the eleven tracks on the CD (also available via digital download on Bandcamp), will help you understand why this debut effort received such an accolade. The songs explore themes of love and loss with a sound that can best be described as “alt-folk.” The lyrics, which appear on the Windows Media Player screen as you listen to each track, have a melancholy literary bent to them. It’s somber Nick Cave meets Joseph Heller with a screening of Metropolis in the background. Fittingly, Kotrla has complied public domain footage from science-fiction films to accompany the songs on …and surrender my body. You can watch the videos on his YouTube channel or the Sci-fi Romance website.

Frankenstein’s Lament, with its haunting female background vocals and sparse acoustic guitar, is told from Dr. Frankenstein’s point of view as the angry villagers rebel against his creation. These Scars, combines a love song about emotional pain and a sci-fi tale of impending death. Kotrla channels a bit of Type O-Negative here, that is, if Type-O had a more intellectual approach to their lyrics. The wistful Long Gone looks back at youthful mistakes, while In the Dark Together conjures up visions of two young lovers on the road in a desert town, vowing to stick together no matter what fate bestows upon them.

…and surrender my body to the flames is an unusual combination of poetic lyrics and old-school science fiction imagery. Vance Kotrla’s main strength here lies in his words, and the mostly acoustic music serves as a conveyance to reveal the emotions and storyline. - The Slums off Hollywood Blvd.

"Sci-Fi Romance brings steamfolk to the masses"

In an era where music gets compartmentalized into a multitude of categories, some of which are creatively titled ("chillwave," for example), enter the term "steamfolk" into the mix of subgenres of modern folk music. Vance Kotrla, a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, recorded his debut album ...and surrender my body to the flames under the name Sci-Fi Romance last year. Released by Broken Image Entertainment a few months ago, this is intimate folk music that used to be categorized as adult contemporary but which cleverly has a rather new niche for it.

Early on in the album, SFR puts the steam in his folk on "In The Dark Together" with lyrics like "Let's find a town to stop this car/And fumble around in the dark/'Cause even as my life disintegrates/I can't stop wondering how you'd taste." Musically, his gentle, capo-aided acoustic guitar strums fit and fuel the emotions of the moment.

The drums on the steady folk rocker "When Breath Becomes Visible" have a cool, subtle aggressiveness to it starting around the halfway mark of the four-minute track, "A Letter West" has some dark piano that accompanies Kotrla's baritone voice well, while "Lovestruck" and final track "Lone Gone" add a kind of fuzzed up guitar to mix things up a bit.

...and surrender my body to the flames has a well done balance of dark and moody steamfolk, and relatively livelier folk music that is well produced (and in a class similar to the likes of Jesse Harris).


"...and surrender my body to the flames" (LP/2010)



Sci-Fi Romance is the performing name of Vance Kotrla, a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter living in Los Angeles. The band features an acoustic-driven, alt-folk sound with an aggressive edge, and the songs deal with those gray areas of life where both light and darkness, and the seeds of great success and colossal failure co-exist.

The debut album, "...and surrender my body to the flames" is available now.

Vance Kotrla began his musical journey playing drums in death metal bands in Texas, including Black Spiral, appearing on their 1999 album "Defeat." Now he plays acoustic guitar and sings. Life is funny.