The two lovely ladies and two lovely gents that make up London four piece Veronica Falls, just released their self titled debut album on Slumberland Records on September 20, 2011. This album has been out less than a month and it’s grown on me. It’s become addictive, even. To put it simply: this haunting, graceful, spirited, 60-tinged indie pop is kind of like musical crack. It started out as a fun recreational drug, but now I just can’t kick the habit.
The album starts with a song that will please all ye ghost fanatics, Halloween enthusiasts, hipsters, mods and everyone in between. While it doesn’t necessarily seem the intent, it is all too fitting that “Found Love in a Graveyard” could easily find its way to the top of any self-respecting person’s Halloween playlist. It has an irresistible combination of ominous bass and driving beats amidst frenetic and fast guitar strumming. The lyrics are simple yet catchy, “Found love in a graveyard, dearly departed, I’m broken-hearted.” It’s the kind of song that will not only get stuck in your head but will give you a little adrenaline rush every time you hear it.
“Right Side of My Brain” rocks hard with a punk-edged sword attack of drums and guitars, but with a nice contrast of gorgeous male/female pop vocal harmonies. When they sing the rousing chorus of “Take your hands…off me” I get goosebumps. Then I get chills when I hear “The Fountain” with its galloping beats and a delicate melody playing off of dark lyrics “I lost my baby to the winter. And I couldn’t bear…to hold you near, when everything I fear, is haunting me.” Veronica Falls easily finds that sweet spot between the somber and upbeat, reminiscent of a Mamas and the Papas “California Dreamin’” kind of vocal and lyrical emphasis and interplay, minus the flute solo.
The laid back vibe of “Misery” will bring the calm after any stormy day. “Bad Feeling” is spooky 60’s pop with a rush of riffs that will delight (disclaimer: despite the name, only good feelings will result from listening to this tune) and “Beachy Head” dips its toes in the swelling tide of a lo-fi surf rock bonanza. But there’s no need to worry, this tale of the infamous suicide spot leads to dancing, not death. Towards the end of the album, songs like “Wedding Day” and “All Eyes On You” leave me feeling a bit underwhelmed but then it rounds out nicely with a return to the romantic, soft sung title-track, “Veronica Falls” and the pleasant pop distortion of “Come on Over.”
All I gotta say is these UK darlings can come on over to my house anytime. Their list of influences and bands they dig (Roky Erickson, The Velvet Underground, Beat Happening, etc.) instantly makes them the kind of cool kids you crave to hang out with. The album is polished, but not over-produced, having been re-recorded in only three days at a London studio after a failed hole-yourself-up-in-the-dead-of-winter for two weeks session in Yorkshire. And with their video game-slick combos of dark and haunting, yet light hearted and sweet harmonies and lyrics, it’s no wonder I’m hooked. They’ve got me enchanted and under their spell.
Album Review by Emily Saex
- To Listen to/Download Veronica Falls’ “Come On Over” click here.
- To Listen to/Download Veronica Falls’ “Bad Feeling” click here.