Let’s face it; most of the time, when you love a band’s first record to the extent to which I loved Veronica Falls’ debut, the follow up is a disappointment. It happens to me all the time. And I get it, bands evolve or some shit, but I really just want a better version of what I liked the first time around, and that’s a difficult thing to do when people have Artistic Integrity ™.
Today has eased some of my fears with Slumberland-darlings Veronica Falls. The video for the first single since the debut LP has crazed the Tweeter-sphere (see what I did there?). “My Heart Beats” comes out on Bella Union on March 26 and is available for pre-order. That means I have to literally sit at my computer and hit refresh on this goddamn Vimeo video until then but for reals, no fucking problem.
And can we talk about this video? It is ethereal and pop-art inspired, colorful and easy on the eyes. It’s makes me wanna steal a Vespa. It’s basically all the best stuff about VF, but in visual form.
I do think it’s super interesting how colorful the video is when you think about this single in comparison to VF’s first record. The first record was laden with poppy melancholia, a stark black and white barn on the cover of the record. The songs, while containing a lot of depth, were sepia tone in sound, lacking the punch “My Heart Beats” has. This new single is all color. There is an optimism that was missing from the first record, but not unwelcome at all. The Line of Best Fit (who premiered the video) said it best when they said it is the “most outwardly accessible tune to date.”
I am waiting with baited breath for what’s to come, Veronica Falls.
Veronica Falls – My Heart Beats from Army Of Kids on Vimeo.
The 90s, man.
Mazes is pretty fucking rad. I’m late as all hell on this as these guys totally flew under my radar. And what? This band is from the UK? Because this band sounds like they should be hanging out with Janeane Garofalo and David Cross in like 1996 or something.
Self-disclosure: I am not the biggest Pavement fan in the world. I know, I know, who do I think I am, but really, they never did much for me. Like, there’s definitely a few Pavement bangers out there that I am all about or whatever, but Mazes takes everything I love about Pavement and amplifies it. It also sort of reminds of me of more mainstream alt-rock at the time, with a sprig of Gin Blossoms and Lemonheads or whatever in the best way possible (I love Gin Blossoms til I die).
God, does anyone have the Mazes appearance on The Adventures of Pete and Pete on VHS? What do you mean that never happened? Because that’s what comes to mind when I hear this, and I love that. I definitely get some strong Polaris vibes. Also, did you know this was the band that opened for Sebadoh when I missed them in November? Hate myself. Maybe I just won’t get out of bed tomorrow until 4pm where I eat Fruity Pebbles for dinner and totally live up the slacker lifestyle to MOAR MAZES. Inspired.
Mazes, “Summer Hits”
I saw Liechtenstein, all-girl indie pop outfit from Sweden, open for the incomparable Cats on Fire back in 2009 at the sadly now closed Bruer Falls. Their strength, like many of the latest bands to emerge from Slumberland, is their ability to remind me of other rad bands I love. This is not a bad thing… Liechtenstein brought to mind the greats. Dolly Mixture, Heavenly, The Raincoats, Shop Assistants, basically the entire gamut of 80s female fronted pop. Their debut Survival Strategies in a Modern World, specifically the track “All at Once,” had some heavy rotation in the Pop Minx household.
I was excited to listen to Fast Forward because the debut was such a hit for me, but I have to say that I don’t think it’s going to have so much lasting power for me. It’s definitely a good record, and the first single, “Passion for Water” is a great track. There is an edge, however, missing from this record that the debut had. This record just isn’t cutting enough. It’s softened, but not soft like an egg you overpoached*, and I guess it’s just sort of undefined. It actually even seems less poppy, and almost delves a bit into more post-punk territory. I think “No Idealists Left” is a good example of that and is actually one of my favorite tracks on the record. There is definitely a mark they were aiming for, and I think they missed it by a hair.
Here’s to hoping they get it next time. I think the first record was so fucking good, and I am still holding out for this to grow on me.
*It’s Monday, but Sunday brunch is still on the mind, I guess.
So, I admit. I was late to the Veronica Falls train. I didn’t really give the album a decent listen until late summer, and I think it was just a matter of timing. Late in the summer, my love life and current state of being was just ripe to completely devour Veronica Fall’s surf-goth sound, and it was exactly what I needed to sulk to in the sun.
Veronica Falls recently played the Music Hall of Williamsburg, and you know I was there. Brilliant Colors and Grooms provided the opening sets. I spent most of Grooms’ set at the bar, watching the show on their televisions. They seemed alright–I just never heard them and was in one of those “Can’t sit through a thousand songs I don’t know moods.” I wanted to sing along!
Brilliant Colors was surprisingly fun. I’ve been lukewarm on them since “Introduction to…” and even then something about the band sort of grates on my nerves. I think it’s the fact that they seem to take the concept of paying homage to a whole new level by pretty much lifting riffs and not attributing the band they are lifting it from (namely that one song that sounds too much like Shop Assistants to me). They were enjoyable nonetheless.
Veronica Falls absolutely killed it though, playing all the best tracks for their self-titled debut, and even a couple of new songs (I totally didn’t even mind!).
Brooklyn Vegan has a bunch of pictures available here, and someone posted a sweet vid over on YouTube. Thanks tiny0wl!