The Veils channel Nick Cave on come back single!
The first time I saw the Veils was when I watched them live around 2002 at the Joiners in Southampton. I was at uni at the time and going to the Joiners on a whim was almost a daily event. What struck me was the visceral power the band had. Not only were they confident enough to make a woozy pop with dark provoking lyrics, but their main weapon was having a genuinely transfixing frontman in Finn Andrews. I saw them a few more times over the next few years and got their three albums. Then in 2013 Andrews and co released Time Stays, We Go. It was heavier and more menacing than their previous work, but it held that single strand that connected the albums together, but made them stand on their own. Then they went quiet and I feared the worst.
That is until now. Lead single Axolotl is possibly the most exciting thing they have released. Sounding like Nick Cave having a fight with a drum machine it’s a thing of beauty. Instead of listening to it, it stalks you and you find yourself fending it off, but with each passing moment its symbiotic nature makes it harder and harder to ignore until you’re totally transfixed and instead of trying to fight it off you are dancing with it. Yes I know this sounds a bit Lynchian, but hell, Andrews is in the new series of Twin Peaks.
But it isn’t just the music that makes you fall in love/lust with it, the lyrics are full or Nick Cave and Tom Waits motifs. The stand out lyric is “Who needs the devil when you’ve got the lord?” This could easily have been lifted from Heart Attack and Vine or from And the Ass Saw the Angel. Either way it’s so succinct that on one hand you can pass it off as flippant, but you can also hold it close to your on dark nights while you wait for the peace of morning.
Axolotl is the first single from new album Total Depravity, released 26th August, and was produced by El-P, he of Company Flow, Cannibal OX and Run the Jewels fame. It is filled with his trademark deep beats and dense production, but there is still that pop sheer that marks all of this best work. That being said this is clearly a Veils track.
It’s hard to believe that as I was walking home that night after watching an incendiary set that over fifteen year later the band would still be releasing mind melting music and getting me excited about another, as yet, unreleased album. That’s total depravity!