veronica falls Veronica Falls (CD, £2.50)label: bella union
After a slew of critically acclaimed singles and well-received shows both here and in the US, the quartet of Roxanne Clifford, Patrick Doyle, James Hoare and Marion Herbain, otherwise known as Veronica Falls are returning this autumn with their much anticipated debut LP, released in October on Bella Union. Anyone who has heard their previous tracks – the sweet yet macabre love song “Found Love in a Graveyard” and the surf-pop death swoon of “Beachy Head” – will be familiar with the Veronica Falls modus operandi: gorgeously crafted, instantly addictive pop tunes with a dark, unsettling undertow. But the album also unveils, for the first time, the plan in its entirety, with an expanded sound and emotional palette only hinted at in the past – albeit one which is always grounded in the shadows . “Right Side Of My Brain” is a snarling and vicious beast, all sharp hooks and barbed wire, while “The Fountain” is more gloriously morose yet achingly beautiful pop, with these duelling contrasts reaching its gorgeous epitome on the astonishing “Misery”, as Roxanne Clifford casually sings, “Misery/ It’s got a hold of me/ misery/ my old friend” while, all around her, melting harmonies and chiming guitars ring out, before ending abruptly in an eerie verse sung entirely a cappella. Elsewhere, the brightly scrubbed “Stephen” may be one of the most touching declarations of friendship ever, while “The Box” is a bona fide indie anthem in the making. Finally, “Come On Over” makes for a poignant album closer, with its simple yet affecting refrain of “Hey, it’s getting colder/ come on over/ until the summer/ until we’re older”. With their debut album, Veronica Falls have crafted a brilliantly concise, superbly concentrated hit of spiky, marvellously contagious indie pop with a twist – these are songs which will lodge themselves in your head as well as your heart, with style and attitude to burn. You’d do well to surrender to their eerie spell. Veronica Falls are: Roxanne Clifford (vocals, guitar), Marion Herbain (bass), Patrick Doyle (drums), James Hoare (guitar).
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