The Veldt (241006)
Credit: Ed Marshall

The first time I heard of The Veldt’s concept for their new album, “The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur,” was eight years ago. The band, consisting of twin brothers Danny and Daniel Chavis, drummer Marvin Levi and bassist Hayato Nakao, has been carving out a musical return after long cementing themselves as Black staples of the shoegaze music scene along with their British predecessors A.R. Kane. More than 25 years after signing to Capitol Records, traveling on major tours and making a statement in Black music by creating their 2002 side project Apollo Heights after feeling bound by contract wars with their label, The Veldt has returned, stronger and seasoned, producing a moving wall of sound, resembling stargazing, psychedelic gospel music.

The Veldt embeds their North Carolina roots into a musical genre that was dominated by European white artists in the 1980s and 1990s after post punk bands such as Joy Division and The Smiths inspired bands to wash out their sounds and create guitar distortions that forced the bands to stare down at their shoes while deeply involved in their playing and the euphoric sound of their music. The Veldt took the music further and added their own brand of soul and gospel influences.

This approach is proved with the opening track, “Sanctified,” giving a nod to the spiritual intentions behind their music. With that said, after so many years in the music industry, The Veldt themselves have continued to maintain a sense of humor and ease as their new EP has been released on a small independent label, Schoolkids Records. They have found that independent labels allow them much more creative control than major labels.

“The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur” is riding on a recent wave of success after the band toured with popular revivalist band The Brian Jonestown Massacre and experienced a burst of press attention that was long overdue. The Veldt’s longtime influences A.R. Kane produced the last track on the new EP, entitled, “And It’s You.” The Veldt has continuously stayed true to their roots, honoring their mentor, Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins, and fellow contemporary Black rock legends, TV on the Radio.

“The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur” was released June 2 and is available for purchase at https://theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com.