Amongst the albums that I am most looking forward to in 2013 is the release of new material from The Veils. The Veils slip into the underrated category for me, and in my opinion, they are vastly overlooked by the indie populace. Since the release of their debut album in 2004, “The Runaway Found”, the Veils have quietly been producing quality music without much public fanfare. At the heart of The Veils is singer Finn Andrews, whose intensity boils over at times, and others his frailty is something you have to tiptoe around as a listener. Whether Andrews is picking away at a guitar or some keys on a piano, you can tell he puts 100% heart into every effort he and the band produces.
In 2006, the band released sophomore album, “Nux Vomica”, in which Andrews headed a new cast of band members and a new direction. While there were a couple of poppier moments on the record, “Nux Vomica”, is largely a record full of angst and a much darker record than the first release. “Sun Gangs” came three years later in 2009, and offered plenty of quality moments in a more subdued fashion than the previous record. In 2011, the band released “The Troubles of the Brain” EP, giving fans a bridge until their newest record is released which should be out in a few months.
Here is a look at the Veils albums one by one.
Album: The Runaway Found
Verdict: “The Runaway Found” was a strong debut for the band. Beginning with the woozy ‘The Wild Son’, the listener knows it’s in for a treat. The pleading and gravelly vocals that lace ‘Guiding Light’ are intoxicating. ‘More Heat Than Light’ sneaks through the grass at night, then crashes around your senses with authority. ‘The Tide That Left And Never Came Back’ is “Runaway Found’s” most toe-tapping friendly song, but is utterly fantastic in it’s simplicity. ‘The Leavers Dance’ and ‘The Valley of New Orleans’ are highlights as well.
Album: Nux Vomica
Verdict: This album takes effort. But the rewards here are greater I think than the debut album. ‘Not Yet’ opens the album, and displays the kind of intensity we see in droves on the album. And despite that, ‘Advice To Young Mothers To Be’ might be the Veils poppies moment of their career providing contrast to what we see elsewhere on the album. ‘Advice’ follower ‘Jesus for the Jugular’ to this day is one of my favorite songs the band has ever done. The slow hammering rhythm works incredibly with Andrews’ vocal intensity, never displayed to this level in his career up until this point. It’s as if his voice is screaming to escape it’s audible straightjacket, eventually bursting out loud enough for all to hear. Tracks six and seven on the album are about as effective emotionally as two songs can be. ‘A Birthday Present’ is melancholy defined, eventually setting the mood for the follower ‘Under the Folding Branches’ which can bring a grow man to tears. I don’t exaggerate when I say I believe this to be one of the most beautiful songs of all time, along with Peter Gabriel’s ‘Washing of the Water’. ‘One Night on Earth’ is just another gem that helps finish the album with some optimism, proving that the Veils aren’t just a downer.
Album: Sun Gangs
Verdict: While “Sun Gangs” is probably the bands weakest effort in my opinion, I do believe it is still a good album. Standout tracks ‘Sit Down By The Fire’ and ‘The Letter’ display Andrews’ ability to craft quality songs that can get stuck in your cranium for days at a time. At times the album can drag itself to a halt, getting too sorrowful in moments like second track ‘Sun Gangs’. ‘Killed By the Boom’ is probably the most schizophrenic thing the Veils have done, and it works nicely. ‘The House She Lived In’ shows a playful side to the Veils, and the reverent sounding ‘Begin Again’ pays respect to a simpler time.
The ‘Troubles of the Brain’ EP is a nice fill in between albums. It’s an almost sunny effort from the Veils who typically only show that side of themselves once or twice an album. It will be interesting to see if that direction continues on their upcoming full length. But while I am familiar with the bands efforts, I would love for this article to either spark an interest in you the reader if you aren’t familiar with the band. We can discuss below whether you like the Veils or not as well. I am going to link some songs for you to check out down below.
‘Jesus for the Jugular’
Here is a live version of ‘Under the Folding Branches’ that will hopefully show you all what I mean about this song.
And the song that got me interested in the first place. ‘The Tide that Left and Never Came Back’