Few bands have run with the classic sound of mid-80s British lo-fi indie-pop quite like Veronica Falls. Their doom-laden musical vision meshes romance, tragedy, and energy to C86-era audio stylings.
The London-based four-piece formed two years back. Drummer Patrick and guitarist/vocalist Roxanne were in The Royal We and Sexy Kids, while co-guitarist/vocalist James (who they met at a Comet Gain show) used to play in Your Twenties. Bassist Marion learned her instrument in matter of weeks with the sole intent of being in a band with her three best friends.
The Veronica Falls live experience is a reverb-laden head-rush that references their shared love of the Velvets, in particular Lou Reed’s grinding, momentous take on rock n roll. Yet they’re still being chased around by two annoying misconceptions: that they’re “twee” and “goth”. While the former tag might have something to do with Roxanne’s breathy, low-in-the-mix vocal, early support slots to Belle & Sebastian and strong links to the Glaswegian music scene (some might say the spiritual home of early twee), it’s lazy labeling that won’t stick as their exposure grows.
Whatever traces of “goth” they have can be pinned on a morbid lyrical slant: ‘Found Love In A Graveyard’ pulls off the double whammy of being a perfect indie-pop single and an ode to a dead lover while ‘Beachy Head’ is named for a notorious suicide spot on the English southern coast. Roxanne confesses to being “a really big fan of Roky Erickson lyrics... they're quite twisted, almost beyond madness in some places, so 'Found Love...' was meant to be a simple love song with an eerie aspect.”
All spookiness aside, there’s a ferocity to the band behind the thin layer of feyness : they’re self-assuredly outside any particular British scene, more comfortable amongst the DIY-ethic of Brooklyn’s creative hub - a place that helped shaped their attitude. “In London, things are a bit disjointed,” Patrick has said. “So many good bands come out of Brooklyn... that whole supportive community must help a lot.”
They haven’t compromised on the important stuff: the self-titled debut that dropped last month was recorded twice (the second time only took three days) because the first go just didn’t capture the excitement and spontaneity that make Veronica Falls one of the most exciting bands in the UK right now.