VENN is the Washington, D.C. based
four piece of Jon Fetahaj, Gabe Earle, Julian Earle and
Holden Cihelka. A few weeks ago we
featured the band’s catchy first single, “Surreal” in
anticipation of their self-titled debut EP, which is officially released today
via Bandcamp. Based on the strength of the single, our expectations were exceptionally high. This 4-song EP does
The EP kicks off with the aforementioned “Surreal”,
a jangly shoegaze number that grabs you by the collar and demands your
attention. After weeks of repeated play, the tune has lost none of its luster
for me. Descriptors like effervescent, energetic and exhilarating all come to
mind, but at the end of the day; “Surreal” is a perfect
noise-pop gem. Its fevered pitch sets the pace for what’s to come.
“Weekday” follows it up and packs a similar
nostalgic punch. In fact, one of the most remarkable things about these young
gazers, aside from sheer talent, is their innate grasp on nostalgic melody. Properly
crafted nostalgic noise pop is not easy to make, but it should sound
effortless, and Venn excels at this. “Weekday” features the same frenzied
guitar work and noisy, cymbal-clanging brilliance captured in “Surreal”, but
the sparkling vocal melody that comes in at 0:37 feels particularly special to
me. This EP is loaded with cleverness, but this track may be the most sonically
sophisticated of them all.
Next comes “Maybe I’m a Liar” – for all intents
and purposes, Venn’s origin song, as it was the first one they wrote together. Compared
to the two tracks that come before it, “Maybe I’m a Liar” is less raucous and
more on the soothing side of things. While slightly less dynamic than its predecessors,
Venn’s signature catchiness remains. The song also boasts a killer guitar
groove that you’d have to be dead inside not to love.
The EP closes with “Someone Else”, by far their
longest track (clocking in at just over 6 minutes). The song’s intense intro
sets you up for a rowdy jangle jam, and it is that, but it’s also something of
a slow-burner. The tempo downshifts for the first verse, then ramps up again at
the chorus. “Someone Else” is a rollercoaster ride, running you through a gamut
of emotions that perfectly encapsulates the tumultuousness of the subject
matter. In certain places, the vocals are somewhat reminiscent of Jeff Kandefer
of The Daysleepers– that alone is a magical thing. But comparisons are
boring, and Venn is much more than a sum of comparisons.
Venn’s EP would be impressive for a seasoned group
of musicians with several releases already under their belts. As a debut offering
from musicians so young, it’s absolutely incredible. Venn are as stunning as
they are precocious, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.
By now, we all are familiar with the vast back
catalogue from Curve’s master sound sculptor Dean Garcia and his artist
daughter Rose Berlin. They’ve become well known for their gorgeous, danceable
dream pop brushed with a soupçon of post punk grit. “Under My Skin” was just
used in the MTV genre show Teen Wolf, and is a song that means a lot to this
closely knit duo. I like the watery, hushed piano and symphonic backdrop. It is
a sad song, peeling back emotional layers and cutting straight to the bone.
Rose sounds vulnerable and emotionally shattered, as she emotes, “I’m done
crying for moments I once adored”.
“Meteor” is another fine addition to their
particular brand of stately dream pop, rather like the work they did with Blurred
City Lights. I actually prefer this side of them to some of their other facets.
It all meshes together perfectly, and I find myself playing this tune on
repeat. “Creep in the Shadows” first appeared on their Dark Matter LP and
unfortunately employs Autotune. I do like the slow burn of this song, but Rose
really shines when her voice isn’t treated like it is here. “Let it Be Always”
is downright creepy, bursting with menace, indecipherable whispered voices, and
is the perfect soundtrack to your haunted house fantasy. It lets the light in a
bit on the chorus before resuming its uneasy, twisted passage through your
brain. “Found” ends the EP on a brighter note, and it’s a hazy dreamscape, one
from which you hope to stay forever. Recommended as always for fans of their
earlier work plus anyone who adores Curve and Echobelly.
The Sun Hits is very proud to exclusively premiere a brand new track from
Macedonia’s Undone called
“The Palm of Your Head.” The song is taken from the forthcoming EP, kNOWing
Eva, which is set for release on February 27, 2017. You can watch a trailer for
the EP below.
Enjoy the FREE download of “The Palm of Your Head” and don’t
forget to pick up kNOWing
Eva when it drops!
VENN is the Washington, D.C. based four piece of
Jon Fetahaj, Gabe Earle, Julian Earle and Holden Cihelka. “Surreal” is the lead
single taken from the band’s forthcoming self-titled debut EP, which is set for
release on February 22, 2017.
“Surreal” is a catchy slice of jangly shoegaze that impressed me immensely, especially considering it is the first tune gifted
to the world by these young gazers. The song begins with a toe-tapping beat
that immediately grabs your attention and locks you in for the ride. This quickly
morphs into a burst of gloriously raucous noise, featuring enough frenzied guitar
work and cymbal-clanging to please any lover of jangle pop. After about 30
exhilarating seconds of pure energy, the intensity tempers slightly as the
vocals slide in.
If you weren’t already hooked by the instrumental
opening, the first verse will seal the deal. This is high caliber
and catchy as hell. Sheer effervescence fuels this song as the first verse
soars before tumbling into a frenetic chorus. The pace of the song never
relents and before you know it, the ride is already over. I immediately wanted
to do it all again. If this perfect noise-pop gem is any indication, Venn’s
debut EP is going to be an absolute stunner.