The Velvet Teen

05.18.2009

i’ve been mulling this post over for a few days now, but i decided to freestyle it instead. i wouldn’t be able to do judah nagler’s songs with the velvet teen any justice with an attempt to deconstruct everything and out-adjective myself. i’ll keep it basic.

honestly, the velvet teen sound like radiohead if they had grown up in the pacific northwest and skipped the whole post-grunge phase. judah nagler’s songwriting skills are stunning, and the velvet teen find as much success in catchy bursts of rock (‘radiapathy’ on out of the fierce parade)  as they do on dense, emotional meanderings (the 13 minute epic ‘chimera obscurant’ on elysium). each of the three full-lengths are incredibly distinct in sound, content, and structure, another of the band’s radiohead-like qualities.

as much as i hate to throw around the term, the velvet teen are easily one of the most criminally underrated, underexposed, and underappreciated bands of the past decade. that first listen is like pulling up a rock in your backyard, only to find a flourishing ecosystem underneath; you aren’t exactly sure how something so fully realized and complex was able to spring up right under your nose without notice, but the exhilaration and curiosity are whiplash inducing.

out of the fierce parade is the best starting point with its relatively straightforward rock approach and higher single-worthy track ratio. elysium is a delicate, yet challenging guitar-free beast of a record in which nagler’s dense prose unwinds over piano and string-laden compositions. cum laude! brings the rock back with a newfound helping of electronics.

alright, i know i fell back on the adjectives a little hard right there. here’s the final word; the velvet teen, like radiohead, are frighteningly awesome at making challenging, complex songwriting incredibly listenable and pleasant. it’s music that succeeds on more levels than most bands are even aware of.

(edit: slowdance records has asked me to take down links. head over to TVT’s myspace to sample the music.)

Out Of The Fierce Parade (2002)

Elyisum (2004)

Cum Laude! (2006)

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2 Responses to “The Velvet Teen”

  1. joe Says:

    music so good im scared

  2. mattgcn Says:

    needs moar logan whitehurst


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