heyve been compared to Radiohead, Low, the Smashing Pumpkins, and even Prince. But comparisons can be misleading, and often the artists offered up are much better then the end product of their influences. But the Velvet Teen is something different from their influences. Working within the indie rock idiom, regular pop-like song structures with an interesting production sound helped out by Chris Walla, of Death Cab for Cutie fame; the Velvet Teen have produced one of the most stunning debut albums of this new century. And it was only recorded in six days.
The singer sounds a tad like Jeff Buckley, sure. The first few seconds of the record remind one of The Cures Disintegration, even, but these three graphic designers take these reference points and use them as jumping off points. This jumping off point includes the emo-esque Four Story Tantrum and the stunning closer to the album, Death. Instead of creating a collection of songs, what the Velvet Teen has created is an album- sustained by a narrative from life to death as reflected on the album cover art. Speaking of the album art, all three members of the group are graphic designers. What might have ended up as a amalgamation of three different ideas, ended up being the unified vision of Logan, the drummer, and his copper plate etchings. What began as two single EPs for the newly signed band became an entire LP- after it was apparent that there was more than enough material.
So, the future is bright for the band, it would seem easy to rest on the laurels of the previous record, even. Instead, Judah, the lead vocalist, is working on an electronic side project which draws inspiration from Boards of Canada and Squarepusher, while the band will be going on tour in June with The Ghost, of Southern Records. They also hopefully plan to be able to release a new EP by the end of the year.
Names/Instruments: Judah Nagler- Vocals, Keyboard; Logan Whitehurst- Drums, Vocals; Josh Staples- Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Location:Northern Bay Area, California
Labels Appeared On: Slowdance
Essential Release: Out of the Fierce Parade