12-10-2023 Music 11038

The Veldt - Aurora Borealis

The Veldt - Aurora Borealis

As they approach the release of their 'Illuminated 1989' album, the original 1989 full-length record produced by Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie, trailblazing soul-influenced shoegazers The Veldt announce North American tour dates and also present the single 'Aurora Borealis' with Elizabeth Fraser making a cameo appearance on backing vocals towards the end. Complementing this is the B-side remix, created by The Veldt around the turn of the century.

This is the second single from the album, which Guthrie produced in autumn 1989 and has now remastered for vinyl. While intended to be the band's first album, their label Capitol Records shelved the recording and sent them back into the studio with producer Lincoln Fong (Moose), resulting in their first album released with the title 'Marigolds'.

Earlier, the band released the lead track 'The Everlasting Gobstopper' digitally (with a video produced by Jammi York and the late Yuko Sueta) and on vinyl, involving a B-side previously unreleased vinyl exclusive 'Joshuu Lullaby', also recently produced by Guthrie.

One of the most notable first-wave shoegaze bands, formed in North Carolina in the 1980s, The Veldt surrounds identical twins Daniel Chavis (vocals, guitar) and Danny Chavis (guitar). Their unique sound was influenced by Cocteau Twins as readily as Marvin Gaye and free-jazz warriors Sun Ra and Pharaoh Sanders. Referencing European post-punk while embracing modern hip-hop, these trailblazers work with transient dreamscapes as fluidly as solid song structures.
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.

Daniel Chavis on their inspiration for 'Aurora Borealis': "This song is about my brother's love for his newborn daughter. Written out of high school and dug out around the time the band had started to get noticed. We had written so many, but it was one of the newest pieces that we had begun experimenting. This would signal our departure from being a band that made people dance to a band that made people confused. 'The Everlasting Gobstopper' came shortly thereafter and was being finished."

Danny Chavis adds, "This song was written in 1986 and was included in the first batch of songs we demoed under the name VELDT. Having heard 'Treasure' by Cocteau Twins, this song was inspired by that very album and RUN DMC’s 'Sucker MC’s' around the same time that year."

The Veldt's journey is fascinating. Performing since they were children, the Chavis brothers’ musical roots lead back to the church and southern juke-joints, and listening to music that included gospel, Motown and Pink Floyd. The Veldt formed in the late 80’s in Raleigh amongst the legendary North Carolina music scene of the time, initially signing with Mammoth Records - leading to a chain of major-label relationships that took the group across Europe and the U.S. playing shows with the likes of Throwing Muses, Pixies, Cocteau Twins and Jesus & Mary Chain.

After moving from Raleigh to New York, they briefly performed as Apollo Heights before returning to their original name The Veldt. Joined by Japanese bassist-programmer Hayato Nakao, they together forging music that is a heady and sensual blend of shoegaze and progressive soul, dreamy soundscapes and infectious grooves. Some of the band's recent notable releases include 'The Shocking Fuzz Of Your Electric Fur' EP (2017) and the album 'Entropy is the Mainline to God' (2022).
Over the years, The Veldt has collaborated with TV On The Radio, Mos Def, Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite), A.R.Kane and toured or played with 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.

'Aurora Borealis' is now available everywhere, including 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. From October through December, The Veldt will be touring many cities and will be performing at Levitation Festival in Austin and Seattle's KEXP, as well as playing several exclusive dates supporting Violent Femmes.

SAT 10/21 = Norfolk, VA @ the NorVa w/ Violent Femmes
SUN 10/22 = Richmond, VA @ the National w/ Violent Femmes
MON 10/23 = Asheville, NC @ TBA
TUE 10/24 = Nashville, TN @ the Underdog
WED 10/25 = Memphis, TN @ Growlers
THU 10/26 = Little Rock, AR @ EJ’s Drinks and Eats
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

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