The Veils return with their highly anticipated 4th album "Time Stays, We Go" -- released on their own Pitch Beast Records imprint.
Recorded at Seedy Underbelly Studios in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles and produced by lead singer/songwriter Finn Andrews and Adam Greenspan, "Time Stays, We Go" marks the beginning of a captivating new era for a band already hailed as "The best and most unsettling thing I've seen in music this year" by The LA Times and "Quite possibly the most underrated band on the planet" by NME.
Finn has had a life consistently surrounded by music. His father Barry Andrews was one of the founding members of new wave pioneers XTC and also collaborated with Iggy Pop, David Bowie and Robert Fripp in the 1980's -- but it wasn't until Finn moved to New Zealand with his mother in his teens that he started writing songs of his own. At 17 years old he returned to London and formed The Veils and has been touring and releasing records ever since.
It is with his band's fourth effort however, that the exceptional promise he has always displayed as a singer/songwriter has come to fruition.
"Time Stays, We Go" consists of ten songs culled from a batch of literally hundreds of songs written in the three years since The Veils last full-length release in 2009. Andrews says of the editing process:
"Adam Greenspan & also Nick Launay (producer The Bad Seeds, Yeah Yeah, Yeahs) helped me sort through them all and separate the good from the... not so good. I write almost every day so it was quite incredible the sheer quantity of ramblings I'd managed to accumulate in three years."
On "Time Stays, We Go" Andrews' voice sometimes echoes the low baritone of Lee Hazelwood or Leonard Cohen, such as on the ornithological Grimm Tale 'Birds.' But this voice becomes twisted and possessed during 'Dancing With The Tornado,' screeching and hollering through its narrative of a girl with "Tombstone teeth and hair pulled back tight like a violin bow."
Much like Andrews' heroine in that song, The Veils like to dance with the larger things. Subjects like love, death and time have always provided the backbone of Andrews' song writing and it is a pleasure to listen to a band having such fun with the material.
Long time collaborators Sophia Burn (bass), Raife Burchell (drums), Daniel Raishbrook (guitar) and new member Uberto Rapisardi (hammond organ) help create a rich musical backdrop for Andrews' songs, audibly relishing the opportunity to take the listener from frenzied album opener 'Through The Deep, Dark Wood' to the glistening, reverb-soaked ode to lost youth 'Candy Apple Red' -- all within the album's first 10 minutes.
'Train With No Name' is built around a rhythm track made of "about 15 toms and 25 tambourines" and features Robert Herrick's epigram "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may" spliced together with Andrews' own "'Cause once the night arrives it's here to stay." The couplet repeats as all around the rhythm takes on a distinctly locomotive feel of its own.
Returning to the same studio where they made their critically acclaimed album "Nux Vomica" in 2006, the band have again been inspired by both California's physical & musical landscape. Sprawling string arrangements on 'Another Night On Earth' bring to mind the lush instrumentation of Van Dyke Parks, while Mariachi-style horns on the joyous 'Turn From the Rain' and album closer 'Out From the Valley' evoke the Mojave's dusty desert badlands.
The band tempted seminal English producer Bill Price (The Clash, Jesus & Mary Chain) out of retirement to mix the record to tape at Metropolis Studios in London, lending the album a richly analogue sound, rarely heard in popular music today.
"Time Stays, We Go" shows The Veils at the very height of their creative powers so far, deftly combining two distinct sides of their personality, or as Andrews calls it, "The Pop & The Snarl":
"I never set out to be in a successful band, I just really hoped that someday I might get to be in a great one. Ultimately I've just always wanted to tell little stories in my songs, but then there's a very improvised and cathartic aspect to what we do as well and I really wanted this record to put both of these sides across. I like the idea of Roy Orbison having a weird day out in the desert with The Stooges."
As for the future of The Veils, Finn has only one thing on his mind:
"I just want to make another record, then another, then another -- on and on until I have to hang up my hat. I really do hope I get to do that..."