ARTIST: The Veldt
RELEASE DATE: 18/03/16
RECORD COMPANY: Leonard Skully Records
From deep within the past, like a fuzzy fever dream, returns perhaps one of the most underrated bands in modern music, The Veldt… Like a car driving back from a faraway land The Veldt return, and better still, with the same drivers behind the wheel; brother’s Danny and Daniel Chavis. They return with the release of The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation, a mixtape EP featuring material written and recorded with bassist/producer Hayato Nakao. The Veldt are an amazing shoegaze/post-rock inspired dream band, who began their career in the 1980’s; born from the Chapel Hill music scene (but never officially wearing the title), many remember them as being a distinctly original driving force in the underground; playing ear piercingly loud shows and blending genres to create sonically beautiful recordings in a period when the mainstream relied on boring synth lines and the birth of stadium rock. They were chased by major labels throughout this period but stayed independent, released a stellar albums and great singles but never broke the surface of absolute commercial success. Through the years they have subsequently influenced major bands including Bloc Party and TV on the Radio and began playing in the stylings of such majestic musicians as Memoryhouse, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Slowdive long before those aforementioned. Previously the band has been known internationally as Apollo Heights and have gained considerable Internet chatter and subsequent rediscovery. But the Chavis brothers have returned as the Veldt, with their signature blend of genre mixing and entrancing recordings.
The mixtape opens with the EP single and perhaps the greatest song on the track listing; Sanctified, an intricate, low strung, dreamy, noisy piece of shoegaze genius. Its sound is deep and heavy; a catalyst to The Veldts trademark sound of soul rhythms mixed with shoegaze sounds. The distortion in the background coupled with trap beats and the humming vocals display originality and the kind of genre crossing that has shined so beautifully in the past of The Veldts music. Couple the sound of Slowdive with images of a distant beach; dirty and drenched in rain and therein lies Sanctified. The second song In a Quiet Room is much more upbeat and is perhaps the EP’s weakest track; its vocals are distant and the electronic hum of the drums seem distant from the fuller sound of the music.
A Token is great (think a heavier sounding Portishead). It sounds reminiscent of DJ Shadow material (when he was an underground success) demonstrating its appeal as a trip hop song. A Token is clever in its subtlety; a sign of experience in the musical world from the brothers Chavis. The closing tracks simultaneously mirror and contradict each other. And It’s You, the EP’s closing track, uses a lighter sound (picture Memoryhouse but louder) to capture the soaring, sonically driven sounds that provide comfort for Daniel Chavis’s soul inspired vocals. This song also highlights the musician’s fantastic performances and production on the mixtape.
This EP/Mixtape could be a return to form, but The Veldt never left. …The Drake Equation is a powerful beast; bolstering a musical superiority much higher than a large amount of acts of the ‘successful’ mainstream. The sheer force of The Veldt’s own talent to produce contradictory music; of combining soul with shoegaze, trap with dream pop, noise rock with indie, shows the band and their ideas are a step ahead of many bands in the game. Sanctified is among the bands greatest releases and this EP successfully pulls together the raw emotional power of The Veldt beautifully and poised, fluent and distant into a vision of musical landscape; both dreamy and distant. That The Veldt are still considered ‘underground’ is not a reflection of them, but rather a testament to music released to financial success in the mainstream.
The Veldt are back…
‘The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation’ gets its official release via Leonard Skully Records on 18th March and you can pre-order it right now from: theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com/releases
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian based heavy music blog ‘I Probably Hate Your Band‘.