Shoegaze Pioneers The Veldt Release ‘In a Quiet Room’ with New Video from Tokyo
NYC-Raleigh four-piece The Veldt have released a new video for ‘In a Quiet Room’, created by Tokyo-based videographer Toshikazu Kaneiwa. This track comes from their five-track EP ‘The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur’, released via Manchester label Leonard Skully Records.
With 4AD legendary recording artist A.R.Kane contributing production on this EP, it effectively merges the alternative bliss rock sound The Veldt has become known for with the hallmark dreamy electronica that led to A.R.Kane becoming famed as ‘father of dreampop’. These tracks combine intense energy, layers of atmosphere and guitar with beautiful falsetto vocals.
The Veldt are identical twins Daniel (guitar, vocals) and Danny Chavis (guitar), Hayato Nakao (bass) and Marvin Levi (drums). Upon signing to Capitol Records in 1989, they recorded a debut album with Cocteau Twins dream-gaze guru Robin Guthrie, which was never released, and then recorded a new once, called ‘Marigolds’, with Lincoln Fong (Moose).
After switching labels, Mercury Records released ‘Afrodisiac’ in 1994, produced by Ray Shulman (The Sundays, Bjork, Sugarcubes), before changing their name to Apollo Heights (they have since changed it back to The Veldt). Earlier this month, Pitchfork included this album in their top 50 shoegaze albums of all time, calling this “the great lost American shoegaze classic, with influences from Prince to Cocteau Twins to A.R. Kane to the Jesus and Mary Chain (who contributed a remix) fused into something beautiful and unique”.
Video producer Toshikazu Kaneiwa is an indie filmmaker hailing from Tokyo, Japan. A long-time friend of the band, their support for each other’s art has been mutually complementary. Veldt bassist Hayato Nakao composed music for some of Toshikazu’s short films, including “Believe” and “Surface”, while he would offer his skills in photography and creating videos for the band (then Apollo Heights). “They guided my soul when I was in NYC in 2001-2014,” explains Toshikazu.
“I was truly inspired when I heard ‘In a Quiet Room’. This sound is so beautiful and sad, and I felt compelled to do the visual work for this song,” explains Toshikazu Kaneiwa. “At the same time, I met k.a.n.a., who is an artist with so much talent – she can dance, act, paint and sing… and I got an idea for the video and I told her my directional plan. She said yes. I really appreciate that she brought a very strong performance into this video.”
The Veldt were part of a movement of innovators who came of musical age at a time when rhythmic rebels were reflective, gritty and wild. Their sound inspired many alternative artists, including TV On the Radio, and led to them working together. They’ve also collaborated with Mos Defand Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite), and have toured and played with The Pixies, Throwing Muses, Echo & The Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, Manic Street Preachers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis, Living Colour, and most recently with The Brian Jonestown Massacre.
‘The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur’ EP marks the band’s re-emergence after a notable hiatus, going down in history as one of the most memorable shoegaze comebacks in 2016, as demonstrated by their recent North American and European tours. In early 2017, The Veldt will release new music through SonaBLAST! Records. The new EP is available on vinyl from Manchester-based Leonard Skully Records and on CD and digitally at http://theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com.