The Veldt-The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP Review: soulgazers return with sublime five song collection.
But there’s a lesser-known American act that has also returned, worthy of equal celebration.
That would be The Veldt, who emerged during the 90’s Asheville, North Carolina alternative scene. Their mix of dreampop, rock and soul made them sonic standouts. Unfortunately the factors that made them unique baffled their record label, and mainstream success proved elusive. Such is the dilemma of a band ahead of its time.
This led founding members/identical twins Danny and Daniel Chavis to abandon the group in the 00’s to focus on their new act Apollo Heights. Until now, that is.
The group is back with 2016 EP The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation (out March 18th on Leonard Skully Records).. The 5-song collection will no doubt please their fanbase, while appealing to newcomers as well.
Opening track (and lead single) Sanctified dials into the band’s sweet spot perfectly: airy atmospherics paired with Daniel Chavis’s sonorous vocals. This exemplifies what always made them stand apart from their peers: whereas other shoegaze groups bury vocalists underneath deafening feedback, Chavis soars atop the group’s meticulously crafted soundscapes.
The biggest difference between The Veldt then vs. now is the heightened use of electronics. Whereas their 90’s output showed a rock band with an occasional synthetic flourish, Electric Fur adds judicious elements of Trip-hop and ambient chill to the equation. It works swimmingly.
Take In A Quiet Room which combines trance-inducing guitar with skittering programmed drums to hypnotic effect, or the gurgling synth-line/guitar interplay on A Token, culminating in one of their most blissfully mesmerizing songs to date.
One Day Out Of Life recalls classic New Wave ala The Psychedelic Furs and The Cure, and album closer And It’s You is a glowing sendoff–a sugary R&B concoction that drifts dreamily over waves of diffuse guitar and glacial synths.
When I spoke to Chavis about the new EP, he mentioned Resurrection Hymns, the group’s full-length album due later this year. When asked how it will compare to Shocking Fuzz he stated: it will be…more of the same but more intense.
With a return this assured, expect more greatness ahead.
Electric Fur doesn’t sound like the work of “90’s band”. It feels of the moment while honoring the band’s legacy. And thanks to Veldt-inspired producer Doc McKinney’s work with The Weeknd and Drake, they’ve even influenced modern R&B. Modern music is living in their image, it just doesn’t know it yet.
So I claim 2016 the year of The Veldt. Their time has finally arrived.
You can pre-order ‘The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP’ via the bandcamp widget below or by clicking here.