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New Music Now 008: doubleVee

New Music Now 008: doubleVee

with Rose Petralia

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Ink 19 caught up with Barb and Allan Vest of Oklahoma City’s doubleVee to talk about Columbia House Records, U2, and some dynamite new music. Listen to the show for rioty punk from Australian outfit Bloods, gorgeous compositions from the Prey soundtrack composed by Sarah Schachner, and doubleVee’s third release and second full-length album, Treat Her Strangely.

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Transcript:

Frank: Hi there. Thanks for clicking on us. I’m your stone soul sound savior and guide, Frank Dreyer, for Ink 19. I’m glad you can join us for this edition of the New Music Now podcast with our special musical guest, doubleVee. You can listen to these tracks and more on Ink 19 Magazine’s Spotify page. Now here’s your host, Rose Petralia.

Rose: Welcome to New Music Now from Ink 19 magazine, where we talk with real artists about the music they’re loving right now. To follow along with the show, find transcripts and playlists at ink19.com. Today we’re gonna hear six new tracks from three new albums, including one from our musical guest.

I’m Rose Petralia from Ink 19, I’m one of the show’s producers. Please say hello to Barb Vest and Allan Vest, who record as doubleVee. Welcome to the show you guys. Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?

Allan: Hi, I’m Allan Vest. I am a songwriter and producer of music here in Oklahoma City.

Rose: Thanks for being on the show.

Barb: Yes, thank you, Allan. I am Barb Vest, the other half of doubleVee, songwriter and producer and happy to be here today with Ink 19.

Rose: I’m excited to actually see your faces, even though our audience doesn’t get to see them, and to hear your new music. We’re gonna hear from three albums today, including your latest album, Treat Her Strangely. So let’s get started, and I’ll talk about the new music that I chose.

I’ll go first. So the album I chose to talk about is called Together, Baby. It’s by the band Bloods on Sub Pop records. Uh, Bloods are from Sydney, Australia, and the members grew up together and have been playing together, uh, professionally for 11 years. It’s their third album.

And it’s just… I think, you probably heard a little preview a couple seconds ago and you know, and you agree with me. It’s amazing. It’s really good. It’s punky. Rioty rock. I love it. Together, baby comes out September 23rd and they’ve released five singles. And we are going to hear two of ‘em today.

Barb: Yeah, we’re looking forward to it. We actually had never heard of Bloods before you introduced them to us, and we are into it. That was really cool. You can kind of hear that a kind of Bikini Kill, Ramones, Go Go’s kind of coursing through their influences there. Yeah, really, really great stuff.

Allan: Yeah.

Rose: Yeah. Good. I’m glad you like it. This is the fifth track from Together, Baby. It’s very Devo. It’s called “Devo,” by Bloods.

Barb: Oh, yeah, yeah. yeah. It’s right up my alley. I like it. It reminds me of good times kind of right off the bat.

Rose: I know. Yeah.

Barb: The sing along, you kind of wanna just know the words so you can scream along with it.

Allan: I love it. That’s a great song and you know, I hear the, Devo in there, in “Devo.”

Rose: Yeah. Yeah.

Allan: “We Are Devo.”

Barb: I love that. “Watch as it burns to the ground around you. Taking out the trash.”

Allan: Yeah. That’s my, that’s actually my favorite part too. It’s weird because, I don’t really hear the Australian accent much. I just, it feels like it could be from anywhere, you know, it’s really good. It’s very universal.

Rose: It is. It’s a good universal, angry song.

Barb: Yeah. Down under and beyond. Yeah, your second track “Boss.” Yeah. I love that.

Rose: Oh my god, this, this track rocks, this track is so good. Uh, the second track on the album, the third single that the band released is called “Boss.” Let’s hear “Boss,” by Bloods.

Barb: Yeah, love it.

Allan: That’s more like, you know, riot girl, Bikini Kill than the first one, even.

Barb: It’s a great anthem for powerful women.

Rose: Yeah, totally. Uh, kicking down the front door is a pretty good sign.

Barb: Right?

Rose: I love every single thing about that song.

Barb: Mm-hmm mm-hmm.

Allan: You know, you know, what? The two songs they’re short and sweet.

Rose: Yeah.

Allan: That’s what’s awesome about ‘em

Rose: They get right to the point, you know? And I can’t sit still listening to them.

Allan: Yeah, it gets better every listen, too.

Barb: I think all of us are kind of hungry for these kinds of songs, you know, kind of in this post-Trump era, you know, reminding us, hey, we all have a voice. We all have a place at the table

Rose: Right. And we’re, you know, mad enough to scream about it and record it and let everybody hear it.

Barb: Yep. It’s important.

Rose: Yeah. I love that the, the lyrics are all, you know, in your face, I’m a boss, and then the singer MC has this cute little “woo.” You know, it’s like a real, a little reality. I don’t know.

Barb: But yeah, these are great. We appreciate you introducing us to them. I guess they’ve been around for about 10 years or something. So we’re a little behind, but.

Allan: Yeah. We’re way behind the times, with music anyway.

Rose: Well, it came from far away. Barb, what are you gonna share with us today?

Barb: We decided to share Sarah Schachner’s Original Soundtrack to the Movie Prey, which was released on Hulu not that long ago and written and directed by Dan Trachtenberg. And we’re so excited to get, to put a little bit of a spotlight on it.

I mean, I hadn’t actually seen any Predator movies before this one, so it was all just kind of new to me. And I was like, oh, you know, I knew it was like a monster in the woods and that was all that I understood. So a few minutes in, it’s like, “Oh gosh, it’s Aliens. Oh my gosh.” You know, spoiler alert.

Allan: Yeah. Yeah. I like the fact that they, that predator, like, I dunno if you guys have seen the first one, but it really hasn’t changed what predator looks like, you know? It’s like, he looks the same as the ’80s, you know? I like the fact that they didn’t try to like, you know, improve upon the CGI too much. They just kind of kept it.

Barb: Yeah. And it all worked really well. And it’s, it was actually the first movie to have a full Comanche dub. The actors went back and respoke all of it in the Comanche language.

Rose: Aw, nice.

Barb: Right, with subtitles. And yeah, it’s really great to see that, ‘cause it’s almost all Native and First Nations talents in the movie.

Rose: That’s impressive.

Barb: Right, the director, um, Dan Trachtenberg, he was working on like pre-production and playing the video game Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and that led him to the composer and she ended up performing kind of almost all of the string parts. There was a main theme for double bass and…

Allan: Go ahead, Barb.

Barb: I was just saying we do have one song in a video game, Beyond Blue um, on the soundtrack. It’s a kind of underwater exploration, BBC Blue Planet 2, so yeah, video games. I mean, it’s a great thing for composers to get into and get more recognition. It’s a whole new world.

Rose: It’s a vast audience. Yeah.

Barb: Yeah, we picked two tracks. The first one we picked is “Naru’s Way,” and it is her theme song and was actually written separate from the film, and the filmmakers loved it so much, they shot more footage and reedited the film to fit the piece. And it’s just a very moving memorable piece. Definitely a piece that’ll stand well the test of time, away from the film itself.

Allan: Kind of a 180 from uh, yeah. From Bloods.

Barb: But still the story of powerful women, so…

Rose: I wonder, were they going for instrumentation that would’ve been maybe more period appropriate, or? It was such a great, uh, mood.

Barb: Mm-hmm yeah, there’s definitely some, some native instrumentation in there. There’s supposedly a horse head cello from Mongolia and a primitive violin from Kazakhstan and just various instruments. And she also worked with a Taos Pueblo songwriter, Robert Miracle, who played flute on some of the other tracks, but I think it’s, it’s very timeless.

Rose: Yeah.

Allan: So this next track is uh, “Brave Girl.” It’s a very suspenseful track, with this kind of a slow build. Um, we, we love when the strings come in at, around the three minute mark.

Barb: And it kind of goes into her theme.

Rose: Yeah. When the strings come in, it feels like a little bit of freakiness, like, uh, something scary is happening.

Barb: Right. Yeah. There’s a lot of tension, a lot of tension. That’s very well underscored by
the soundtrack.

Rose: It sounds like we’re walking out of the forest now and it’s opening up. I don’t know if I’ve gotten to that part in the movie yet. Did that happen?

Barb: You’ve gotta watch the rest of the movie and find out, no spoilers.

Allan: No spoilers here.

Barb: Yeah, no, it’s a very satisfying climax that movie. Absolutely.

Rose: Cool. I’ll finish it.

Barb: Great. And watch it in Comanche too, because it’s really great.

Rose: I love that.

Allan: And I like the Comanche language. I mean, I like just the way it sounds.

Rose: I don’t think I’ve ever heard it, but now I’m going to.

Interlude

Frank: You’re listening to New Music Now, a podcast from Ink 19. If you’re enjoying us, you can find us on your social holes at ink19mag or on our website at ink19.com. Now that you’ve survived the soundtrack from the emotionally intense thriller, Prey, take a breath and stay tuned for a musical treat from our special guest doubleVee. That’s camel case, doubleVee with a double “e”. We are I N K 19. Here again is R O S E.

Rose: Thanks for tuning in, we’re back with today’s episode of New Music Now. I’m your Ink 19 host Rose Petralia and we’re here with doubleVee’s Barb and Allan Vest. So we’ve listened to a couple of albums of new music that are pretty awesome. And, um, now I wanna hear Treat Her Strangely. I wanna hear your album. So what should we know about that album before we hear anything?

Barb: Treat Her Strangely, our new album, was out in July and we wrote and recorded each song individually, which was a little bit different for us. We usually would do kind of a group of two or three songs at a time. But this time we just really focused in and honed in on each one.

Allan: Yeah, like when… we mixed this and then we put it out a year later. So, uh, just kind of trying to reflect on it. It’s it’s a little, uh, strange. I mean, I don’t think we were like even going to make a full album and then we just started writing songs.

Barb: Right. At the time, it was just kind of songs and we would make a demo mix.

Allan: Yeah. But this is like, but in the past, we, we would usually like, you know, work on a song a little bit, go to the next song, work on that little bit, come back to the other song, introduce a third song, come back to the second song. You know, that kind of thing. This, we just said, okay, this is the song we’re working on. We’re not, you know, not gonna stop.

Rose: Yeah.

Allan: the only thing we did was, um, before mixing, I mean, mixing is kind of a big, you know, you’re kind of tweaking when you’re mixing, but we, we did record the strings and the brass instruments. We did that all together, sort of at the end. Yeah, which is great, you know, it’s just good to get away from using samples and stuff. Um, which we did, you know, we do use some samples, but this, record’s kind of, more organic than our previous records.

Rose: Nice.

Barb: Yeah, it ended up taking us a little over a year after finishing it to release it.

Allan: Okay. So this, this song,

Barb: “Matador Bell.”

Allan: It’s a pretty old idea that we took and added onto. It was on the first Starlight Mints record. And now that I look back on it, it’s kinda like it was a demo. I had a four-track version of it that I’d done years before. And we really didn’t, you know, when we recorded it in the studio, we didn’t really change much. We just kind of kept it. And then Barb came up with the idea of adding a chorus and adding vocals over the bridge to that idea. And, uh, it’s surprisingly kind of a, a cool little pop song now.

Rose: Let’s hear it

Allan: The guitar parts are kind of slightly panned, and they’re very, they don’t really go along with each other, but they do. It’s kind of a strange thing, yeah. And actually, if you try to play those on two electric guitars, it just sounds weird and dissonant uh, if you play it on two acoustic guitars, it sounds weird and dissonant. It’s just sort of this happy mistake that happened.

Barb: Yeah. It’s kind of the backbone of the song.

Rose: Mmm Hmm.

Allan: Yeah, the backbone of the song. Yeah. Uh, the one thing that kind of changed was the original song had strings, and then we put brass parts on this, the newer version.

Barb: The brass parts were needed.

Allan: Like, it’s just, it’s just so weird hearing that, that early version now.

Rose: Barb’s voice is just such an amazing balance to your voice. So you guys are really great together.

Barb: Oh, thank you.

Allan: Well, thanks. We really try.

Barb: We sing off and on all day around here.

Rose: Do ya?

Allan: Another thing, I started using, well, we, I guess we both started using different microphones on this record, which was kind of a… it’s the microphone Barb’s talking through, actually, the SM7B.

Rose: You sound very musical, Barb.

Barb: Do I? All right. That’s great. Yeah, it’s fun to get to do that with his earlier ideas to add a little doubleVee twist to it.

Barb: Mm-hmm yeah, we did a, music video for it, with our friends, from Suzzura, Italy.

Allan: Yeah. Yeah.

Rose: Did you go to Italy to shoot the video?

Barb: No, they shot it all over there and you know, we kept in touch via WhatsApp.

Allan: I think it would’ve been kind of a cluster, you know, if we’d gone.

Rose: Yeah?

Barb: It would’ve been great!

Rose: You should go, and recreate the video.

Barb: Yeah, we definitely, we would love to go do at least a photo shoot in the elevator, you know, or something.

Rose: For your five-year anniversary. I was gonna say 10, but that’s too long.

Barb: Right. A lot of the times the genesis of a lot of our songs comes from just old hard drives of Allan’s where he’s collected over the years just little snippets of songs, you know, sometimes without lyrics sometimes with random ideas, and it’s 30 seconds or it’s two minutes or…

Allan: And cassettes, too.

Barb: Right. Yeah. 8-tracks or whatever.

Rose: 8-tracks, wow.

Allan: It’s all good.

Barb: What was your first cassette tape? Mine was the Soundtrack to Annie.

Rose: Wow.

Allan: You remember your first cassette tape? Wow. I guess you’re… That would make sense. Okay. I remember like my first album.

Rose: What was it?

Allan: Which is. Well, actually my first group of albums. I did the whole, like the, you give them a penny, you know, and my parents didn’t know. I was like really young. My parents didn’t know. And all of a sudden albums like showed up, but they were like, what is this, Allan? You know?

Rose: I have the same exact experience.

Allan: And uh

Rose: I think my first album was a Billy Joel.

Allan: Oh really? He’s so much cooler than mine. I mean, I had, like, it was like Boston, I think was one of them.

Rose: Don’t look back, Allan.

Allan: It was, it was the self-titled. Yeah. I, I lose in this department. What was your first cassette Barb again?

Barb: The Soundtrack to Annie.

Allan: Oh, right.

Allan: Boston versus Annie versus what, what was it?

Rose: Billy Joel, The Stranger.

Barb: My first vinyl was Neil Diamond, Heartlight, so there you go.

Allan: My first memory of a cassette tape was probably not my first cassette tape, but U2, War.

Rose: Oh, it’s so good.

Allan: Um, and it, the thing was, with this cassette tape, is it played the whole album on one side, and then you flipped it over and it played the album again, on the second side.

Rose: Nice.

Allan: First tape that I ever had.

Rose: Wow.

Rose: That’s the, uh, precursor to playing it on repeat. That’s pretty cool. I have that record.

Allan: War. Yeah. That’s good. Yeah. U2’s one of those bands that like, changed and morphed, then I kind of stopped paying attention to ‘em.

Rose: That’s ‘cause they started to suck.

Allan: Yeah. Okay. You said it best. Uh, but I need to revisit, like, ‘cause I used to be a big fan when I was a kid, you know, um, October, Boy, uh, War, what else? Um,

Rose: Those are so good.

Allan: What was the one before they got really huge?

Rose: The Joshua Tree?

Allan: Uh, Unforgettable Fire. That was the good one. I mean, that was the one that like, after that it was still good, but you know, the thrill was like sort of gone after that.

Rose: Yeah. They, they became jaded and started putting their tracks on our phones.

Barb: Ha.

Allan: I still have… that’s the only album on my phone.

Rose: My son. Yeah. My son asked me last week, “how do I get rid of this U2 song? It’s the only thing I have on my phone.”

Barb: It’s funny. How do we do that with doubleVee? Just get our songs onto people’s phones.

Rose: Oh yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Allan: So that’s, that’s my story. That’s all I know about them.

Barb: But anyway,

Allan: So “The Middle Side of Me,” Barb, do you wanna talk about this one?

Barb: Sure. Allan. “The Middle Side of Me,” what became “The Middle Side of Me,” there were, two separate sessions that felt differently. And we just like, if we put them together, it would make a pretty cool song. So we gave birth to “The Middle Side of Me.”

Rose: Thanks. So Allan, that’s you playing the cello.

Allan: Yes, yes, yes. Uh, I’ve been playing a cello since I was like 11 or 12, but I’ve never really owned a really good cello. So we, uh, we went to Texas. My brother-in-law is a very good cello player, and we were pet sitting, right Barb?

Barb: Paul has a very nice cello. So we went down there.

Allan: We brought our rig.

Barb: Yeah. Made a kind of remote studio there and tried to get started recording.

But yeah, we recorded and mixed, like, two different cello parts and four violins and two violas and just kind of doubled up on everything…

Allan: Piccolo, trumpet, trumpet, trombone.

Barb: To get orchestral sound.

Rose: Yeah, it’s a, big, big song.

Allan: We try.

Barb: Yeah. I wanna do it with like a huge orchestra behind us.

Rose: Yeah.

Barb: It’ll be amazing. Someday.

Rose: When you go on the road.

Barb: We’ll bring our orchestra with us.

Allan: Yeah. With us.

Rose: Right.

Barb: Well, thanks very much for having us.

Rose: It was really nice to meet you, Barb and nice to see you again, Allan, it’s been great talking to you.

Barb: Great to talk with you, too. We can’t wait to come to Colorado and hang out someday. On that note.

Rose: Yeah!

Barb: Thank you, Ink 19. We love and appreciate you.

Rose: Thank you. Thanks for being here. We like you guys, too.

I need to ask you where we can find you on, uh, social media or the internet or somewhere in the ether.

Barb: We have a website at doubleVee.net and that’s double V E E with a large V, and we’re on all the streaming services and also have a Bandcamp page. Our debut album, our EP, and the new album are all available there. We have CDs on our website.

Rose: Great. We will see you there. Thanks again for being here.

To our listeners. Thank you for listening. You can find links to podcasts, transcripts, and Spotify playlists featuring today’s artists at ink19.com. That’s I N K one nine. We are Ink 19 Magazine on social media and Spotify. We hope you enjoyed today’s new music.

Frank: Thanks, Rose, and thanks to each of you for listening. I want to take a moment and thank today’s special guest, doubleVee, a double great pleasure to have on the show. For more podcasts and reviews of excellent, new music, see it all at ink19.com or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Today’s episode was produced by Frank Dreyer, Ian Koss, and Rose Petralia. Our theme music was composed by Avi Bortnick. Check him out online at avibortnick.com. &end

https://www.doublevee.net


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