Trailblazing American soul-influenced shoegazers The Veldt present their new single ‘Angel Heart’, previewing their ‘Illuminated 1989’ album, the original 1989 Robin Guthrie– produced recording of what was supposed to be their debut full-length record (before their label Capitol Records shelved these recordings).
In 1988, ‘Angel Heart’ was written for the original ‘Marigolds’ album sessions and when the band was originally sent back to the drawing table to record the ‘Marigolds’ album that was ultimately released, it was not included in the tracks recorded with Lincoln Fong in 1993.
Among first-wave shoegaze bands formed in the 1980s, North Carolina’s The Veldt surrounds identical twins Daniel Chavis (vocals, guitar) and Danny Chavis (guitar), whose music is equally influenced by Cocteau Twins, Marvin Gaye, Sun Ra and Pharaoh Sanders. Referencing post-punk while embracing modern hip-hop, these trailblazers work with transient dreamscapes as fluidly as solid song structures.
Danny Chavis interprets ‘Angel Heart’ as follows: “The stellar sound you get when you see the universe expanding. When you feel hopelessness and melancholy and, of course, alone, there’s always a meandering feeling of something that lifts you up and brings you down. We feel it as we get older, but were not alone. This is that sound.”
This is the album’s third single, following the lead track ‘The Everlasting Gobstopper’ and ‘Aurora Borealis’, where Elizabeth Fraser makes a cameo appearance on backing vocals. Complementing this is the B-side remix, created by The Veldt around the turn of the century.
Pitchfork included The Veldt’s album ‘Afrodisiac’, produced by the legendary Ray Shulman (The Sundays, Bjork, The Sugarcubes) and released via Mercury Records, in the top 50 shoegaze albums ever released, while Stereogum included ‘Until You’re Forever’ in the top 31 shoegaze tracks. Their sound also inspired future generations of alternative artists, including TV On the Radio.
The brothers got their musical start via the church and southern juke-joints, under the influence of gospel, Motown and Pink Floyd. The Veldt initially signed with Mammoth Records before a chain of major-label relationships that saw the group tour the USA and Europe with Throwing Muses, Pixies, Cocteau Twins and Jesus & Mary Chain.
After moving from Raleigh to New York, they briefly performed as Apollo Heights before reclaiming their original name The Veldt. Joined by Japanese bassist-programmer Hayato Nakao, they produce a heady and sensual blend of shoegaze and progressive soul. Some of the band’s recent notable releases include ‘The Shocking Fuzz Of Your Electric Fur’ EP (2017) and ‘Entropy is the Mainline to God’ LP (2022).
Having collaborated with TV On The Radio, Mos Def, Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite), A.R.Kane over the years, The Veldt has also toured / played with Violent Femmes, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Pixies, Throwing Muses, Echo & The Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, Manic Street Preachers, Phantogram, Modern English, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis, Chuck D, Living Colour and Schooly D.
‘Angel Heart’ is out across music platforms, such as Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp. On November 24, the ‘Illuminated 1989’ album will be released on vinyl, CD, cassette and digitally via Portland-based Little Cloud Records and 5BC Records. The Veldt is currently touring – from October through December, they’re hitting many cities, performing at Levitation Festival (with The Dandy Warhols and The Black Angels) and at Seattle’s KEXP.
FRI 10/27 = Dallas, TX @ TBA
SAT 10/28 = Austin, TX @ the Far Out Lounge (LEVITATION Festival)
MON 11/27 = Atlanta, GA @ 529
TUE 11/28 = Birmingham, AL @ TBA
WED 11/29 = New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
THU 11/30 = Houston, TX @ 1810 Ojeman
FRI 12/1 = Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
SAT 12/2 = Silver City, NM @ Whiskey Creek Zocalo w/ Tremours
SUN 12/3 = Phoenix, AZ @ Linger Longer Lounge w/ Tremours
MON 12/4 = San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar w/ Tremours
TUE 12/5 = Los Angeles, CA @ Gold Diggers w/ Tremours
WED 12/6 = San Francisco, CA @ Kilowatt w/ Tremours
THU 12/7 = Portland, OR @ Show Bar w/ Tremours
FRI 12/8 = Seattle, WA @ the Central Saloon (TremoloFest) w/ Tremours
SAT 12/9 = Vancouver, BC @ TBA
SUN 12/10 = Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown w/ Tremours)
MON 12/11 = Eugene, OR @ Old Nick’s w/ Tremours
TUE 12/12 = Olympia, WA @ Le Voyeur w/ Tremours
WED 12/13 = Tacoma, WA @ TBA
THU 12/14 = Seattle, WA @ KEXP