The Upshot: North Carolina indie rock/psych/Afro-futurists craft a soulful sway through a celestial space.
BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Given Raleigh’s The Veldt’s success in breaking down barriers and bringing a distinctive blackness to indie rock realms, a five song EP (released on Blurt’s sister company Schoolkids Records, full disclosure) seems a much too modest offering. Having flirted with major label credence for the better part of the past 30 years, Veldt, unlike various other black artists (Living Color, Sly & the Family Stone, et. al.) never made crossing over a priority. Rather, they’ve always been content with fusing ambiance with attitude, creating a subliminal sound that owes much of its influence to the cosmic trappings of the Cocteau Twins and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Then again, it’s what one might expect from a foursome that borrowed its handle from a Ray Bradbury sci-fi story.
The lack of sonic stereotypes notwithstanding, the impossibly long-winded title of their latest opus testifies to the fact that they’re still intent on defying any and all preconceived notions having to do with mood and modality. “One Day Out of Life,” “In a Quiet Room” and “Token” glide by on currents of synthesized set-ups, creating glistening soundscapes as aural additives in the process. Despite some occasionally ominous overtones, the vocals glisten with warmth and assurance, offering the impression that they emanate from a heavenly choir.
Ambition aside, it’s a soothing set from beginning to end, and if there’s little change in tone or treatment throughout, it simply serves to keep the consistency. Consider it a soulful sway through a celestial space.
DOWNLOAD: “One Day Out of Life,” “In a Quiet Room,” “Token”