I loved Veronica Falls’ 2011 eponymous debut album – it managed to deftly collide and combine goth and pop sensibilities without ever coming across as a pastiche of either. Now they have new album to be released Feb 12th via Slumberland/Bella Union and it’s even more fantastic than their first; if you like jangly indie pop with goth-y undertones. Which I do.
They preceded the album with a single Teenage (watch the video below) – an upbeat rollicking number Roxanne Clifford’s vocals wistfully wonderful as she coo’s “Driving late at night / I let you listen to the music you / then I drop you home…” but the magic really happens, for me, with the vocal harmonies provided by James and Patrick.
There’s a maturity and poignancy in this album that steps it up from the already great debut. At times it sounds decidedly summer-y and then within moments it’s a dark and stormy winter’s day. Broken Toy drips with awesome “You’re a broken toy, it’s true / But I am broken too… Broken just for you…” they manage to make disfunction sound like it’s heaps of fun! The pace drops down a gear or two for the gorgeous slow-burner of Shooting Star.
There are moments, in this record, that I recall how awesome Look Blue Good Purple were – which is as good as any reason to enjoy this album – it really comes to the fore on the title track; “Everybody’s crazy / What’s your excuse, baby / Standing in the middle / Waiting for something to happen” is even better when it’s repeated during the vocal breakdown.
I find myself already satisfied by the record’s mid point; the darker If You Still Want Me – and it strikes me now that that here’s a record programmed to be pressed to vinyl – My Heart Beats opens side two (I imagine – this is conjecture at this point, since I am listening to the album via a “private online stream”) with the glorious guitar feedback of My Hart Beats. Followed by the breezy coming-of-age Everybody Changes the heartbreaking Falling Out – before the upbeat jangles and call-response harmonies return to form in So Tired. It’s fair to say that Veronica Falls have their formula and they are sticking to it – if one were to lay any criticism; it’d be this; that the do seem to have a quite singular m/o – but, I have to say it’s an modus wonderful; and I rather know I am listening to a whole album that is collected together with a similar theme connecting it than a jumble of ideas bundled together with no rhyme nor reason.
RATING : REALLY GREAT
I have always struggled with a numerical scale; it feels so finite and arbitrary.
So the CHEESE ON TOAST scale looks a little something like this :
FREAKIN’ AWESOME / JUST AWESOME / REALLY GREAT / GREAT / GOOD / PRETTY COOL / NOT BAD / COULD BE BETTER / PRETTY BAD, ACTUALLY / NOT RECOMMENDED FOR EARS