Veronica Falls - Waiting For Something To Happen
Might as well get this out of the way: I'm not the biggest fan of 'twee'. Jangle-pop tunes about kissing with dry lips whilst listening to Amelia Fletcher almost bring up a hairball made of multi-coloured wool, they make me gag so much. Get your oh-so-sincere zine about how many people's hands you've held away from me, thanks.
So why do I love Veronica Falls? For much the same reason I love Belle & Sebastian, the group that can melt the heart of any of my Field Mice-bashing brethren: they may carry some of the musical hallmarks of the genre – the C86-guitars, boy/girl melodies and Phil Spector drumming is usually the best part of the twee aesthetic – but the lyrics don't follow their simplistic lead.
Like their eponymous first album – and that of every other indie rock band in their vein for twenty years – Waiting For Something To Happen is a compendium of love songs. The voices and guitars of Roxanne Clifford and James Hoarne intertwine, play off each other and at times clash in a pleasing manner; the drums are a steady Meg White beat; the bass keeps everything trundling along nicely. Everything is sweetly worn, but masking a prickly thorn – their songs of romantic longing have an extra, deliciously morbid shade to them.
'Buried Alive' and 'My Heartbeat' take breakout single 'Found Love In A Graveyard' a step further, flirting with Gothic romance (or maybe just borderline necrophilia); songs about missed opportunities, such as high point 'Teenage' or the title-track, sound less like nostalgic whining and more a cruel twist of temporal fate; 'Everybody's Changing' makes abandonment by a lover out to be a death sentence.
Veronica Falls' ingenious move is paring the light and the dark in a way that keeps the macabre an enjoyably gruesome subtext that doesn't turn the record septic with gloom, and that glimmer of Brontë horror keeps the music throwing up too many negative associations.
A noticeable step up from their début – which the group put down to being more adept at their instruments, also responsible for the increased lightness of touch - Waiting For Something To Happen is the catchiest, most enjoyable indie rock album about love and death I've heard this year (so far).
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