US alternative rock / postpunk outfit The Veldt release their 'Illuminated 1989' album on November 24 via Portland-based Little Cloud Records and North Carolina’s 5BC Records. This is the original 1989 full-length record produced by Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie, previewed by the latest offering 'Angel Heart', the lead track 'The Everlasting Gobstopper', and the single 'Aurora Borealis' (with Elizabeth Fraser making a cameo appearance on backing vocals), plus a B-side remix, created by The Veldt.
Guthrie also remastered the album for vinyl earlier this year. While originally 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'.
One of the most notable first-wave shoegaze bands, formed in North Carolina in the 1980s, The Veldt revolves around 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.
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.
On November 24, the 'Illuminated 1989' album will be released digitally via Portland-based Little Cloud Records and 5BC Records, and available from fine music platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp. The Veldt is currently touring the USA and will be joined by TREMOURS throughout December, culminating in a performance at Seattle's KEXP. The album will be released on vinyl on December 15.