Saturday, February 23, 2013

Artist of the Day: Veronica Falls

I can’t think of a better word than “British” to describe London indie-pop outfit Veronica Falls, although “charming” could work. The four-piece’s second album, Waiting for Something to Happen, is undoubtably one of the most enjoyable, easy to listen to releases of the year so far. Where their self-titled debut felt manic, dark chords and themes evoking nervousness during even the cheeriest moments, Waiting is a sweet affair. The group dumped what edge they may have had to embrace their fate as the pop band they were always meant to be, and the revelation left them free to stretch their bubble-gummy fingers in wondrous directions. Sugar-laced arpeggios and mellowed progressions urge you to just sit and soak in the vibrations as vocalist Roxanne Clifford leads her adoring choir of harmonizing boys James Hoare and Patrick Doyle to new levels of pretty. 

From the start, Veronica Falls has taken cues from the jangling school of British guitar-pop known as C86, a revolutionary scene in alternative music that started with the Smiths and ended some time around 1990, when British club-goers started taking more ecstasy. Waiting for Something to Happen, though it certainly owes its debts to that bygone era, shows the band maturing immensely into songwriter’s to be reckoned with. Before, there was something fairly pleasant to be found in most of their tunes. Now, there’s consistent, delightful cleverness, even ingenuity -- enough to make their work as much of a necessity to fans of twee as anything by the bands that inspired them. “Teenage,” the best cut on the album, is one of the most poignant, addictive new songs I’ve heard in some time. “Driving late at night, I let you listen to the music you like,” Clifford recalls in the chorus. Just try and not get nostalgic. Good luck. It’s a pity the record didn’t come out in the summer, really. Don’t be surprised if, when the sun does start shining again, you start hearing it more and more pouring out open bedroom windows in your neighborhood and beyond. 

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