The Velvet Teen
The Great Beast February EP
The Velvet Teen are the ultimate singalong band. I can imagine sitting out on a lawn as a warm afternoon slides into evening, shouting out these songs with friends at the top of my lungs. If anyone I knew had actually heard of The Velvet Teen, I might have done so already.
As it stands, I’ll have to content myself with singing alone. I’ll be doing lots of it, too – The Velvet Teen’s music oozes coy and dizzy charm (I’m tempted to spell oozes with extra o’s – ooooooooozes – to better articulate what I’m talking about). Judah Nagler’s unabashedly high-pitched yet oddly masculine voice forms the centerpiece of music that lazy reviewers (and I’m not a lazy reviewer – honest…) might liken to Jeff Buckley, Radiohead or even The Sundays. There’s certainly the raw pleading beauty of the first, the stand-offish electronic tendrils of the second and the quintessentially English vibe of the third present, but (aside from the fact that a good 50% of reviews written these days – including this one – name-check Yorke and Buckley), drawing comparisons really works against this music. It exists in a separate space to almost anything you might want to pin down beside it.
This coupling of two Velvet EPs is, quite frankly, a nine track sensory orgasm. Tracks one and two might have you set up for a summery wash of sugared indie pop, but when track three hits with a haunting, barely-more-than-implied ambient/spoken word backdrop, it’s all but impossible not to preemptively reach for a hankie. Plaintive and majestic vocals unravel into aching three-part harmony, leaving you totally unprepared for the quirky mind-fuck of “Your Cell,” the cut that greets you when you step over the release’s chronological dividing line. I won’t track-by-track the rest of the disc (even thought exalting the virtues of “Super Me”’s classy piano and prose-ifying the wondrous closer that is “Reverie To Chanticleer” would no doubt be enjoyable). I’ll let you discover The Velvet Teen for yourself. They’re a band you’ll want to experience. Just don’t expect to keep your mouth shut for long.
The Velvet Teen: http://www.thevelvetteen.com