â€śYou know, itâ€™s really weirdâ€ť, opines Veronica Fallsâ€™ honey-throated singer/ guitarist/ lynchpin Roxanne Clifford when asked about their media-conceived â€śgoth popâ€ť tag. â€śBecause when you start a band, and you start writing songs together, you never think anybody else is going to hear them. Youâ€™re just kind of writing it for yourselves. Songs like â€śFound Love in a Graveyardâ€ť and â€śBeachy Headâ€ť, we thought they were playful and not serious at all…â€ť
Veronica Falls are used to wrongfooting easy assumptions. Initially grouped with the explosion of lo-fi bands associated with the Captured Tracks scene in Brooklyn, the quartet of Clifford, drummer Patrick Doyle, fellow guitarist James Hoare and bassist Marion Herbain quietly released a series of limited edition, quickly sold out singles which gradually accrued them underground buzz and a cache of hopelessly devoted fans. Then they signed to Bella Union â€“ one of the UKâ€™s leading lights when it comes to independent labels â€“ and released a blinder of a debut LP in 2011, one which trumped all expectations and rocketed the band to the covers of The Fly and Loud and Quiet and sold out gigs at the Scala. Casual listenersÂ who just assumed that they just made pretty, pristine pop songs were forced to reevaluate their preconceptions when they examined the lyrics more closely â€“ lurking beneath the glacial surfaces were lyrics about suicide and spectral love. Now, with their sophomore album, Veronica Falls look set to pull out the rug from under peopleâ€™s feet yet again.
â€śWaiting For Something to Happenâ€ť sees the band emerge as one of the most potent and affecting, fully-formed indie guitar pop acts we have around. Beautifully mature and poignant, this marvellously assured second record sees the band throw off the casually morbid references to elegantly distill the essence of an aimless twentysomething existence â€“ the collective anxieties, tension and confusion of moving from adolescence into fully fledged adulthood â€“ into a set of immaculately conceived, perfectly wrought pop songs.
â€śIâ€™d say the word â€świstfulâ€ť really describes the mood of the albumâ€ť, Clifford muses. â€śWe chose the album title because to me it captures what people our age are all going throughâ€ť. Indeed, the emotional throughline, from the title down, is one of slowly coming to terms with the process of growing up and eventually learning to face adult responsibility, of leaving behind the safe haven of â€śdriving late at night, Iâ€™ll let you listen to the music you like…everythingâ€™s alrightâ€ť (as they sing on the dreamy, dewy-eyed â€śTeenageâ€ť), and then searching for a â€śshooting star to point me in the right directionâ€ť (â€śShooting Starâ€ť). Far from retreading the playful atmosphere of the debut, the band here mine a much more rich, emotionally resonant vein, be it weariness with dead end social scenes (â€śSo Tiredâ€ť), or the fear of your peers moving on with their lives before youâ€™re ready (â€śEverybodyâ€™s Changingâ€ť).
Musically too, this album sees the band evolve into a more poised and confident pop entity, the melodies bolder and songs more muscular. Recorded with Rory Attwell (who has worked with everyone from The Vaccines to Male Bonding), these are tracks which spin gorgeous, sun-kissed melodies across their tales of growing pains and romantic dysfunction. So there are deliciously askew pop belters in the form of â€śBuried Aliveâ€ť and â€śEverybodyâ€™s Changingâ€ť, but there are also achingly tender moments present too, from the touching love song â€śBroken Toyâ€ť (â€śI am broken too, a broken toy like youâ€ť), to the gentle reverie â€śDanielâ€ť, which strips the track to its barest essentials â€“ shimmering guitar lines and perfectly harmonised vocals sighing, â€śnobody needs to know what we know, nobody needs to go where we goâ€ť to perfectly heart rending effect.
You may have had them tagged as goth-tinged pop fantasists, but with â€śWaiting For Something to Happenâ€ť, Veronica Falls easily shrug off any notions of a difficult second album to create something that is easily more polished, more affecting, and more enduring than their peers would dream of making, and stake their claim as one of the most gloriously unpredictable and invaluable bands the UK has right now. Clutch them close to your heart.
No shows booked at the moment.