There is something incessantly pleasing about Veronica Falls. Perhaps it’s their lack of pretense or lofty goals; perhaps it’s the warm harmonies; perhaps it’s the head-nodding, rhythmic nature of their gentle, poppy songs. Waiting for Something to Happen embodies the best of indie pop, wrapping you up in its embrace, walking hand-in-hand with you down the sunny riverbank, and listening while you explain your theories about what REALLY happened to Jerry Garcia. This is fun, genuine, unassuming music.
The immediate standout element on the record is the vocal work, a duty shared more or less equitably by guitarists Roxanne Clifford and James Hoare with occasional help from drummer Patrick Doyle. Clifford’s airy soprano is anchored by Hoare’s tenor, and the two seem to have an almost intuitive sense of one another; on album closer “Last Converation,” written in the form of a round, the pair spiraling in on one another over the course of the chart. Clifford’s lyrics are heartfelt and delivered with palpable sincerity. You really can’t sing “I am broken too / a broken toy like you” and not mean it.
Veronica Falls’ instrumental work is full, but this is mostly the work of album producer Rory Attwell, who’s done a wonderful job of beefing up VF’s serviceable-and-good-but-basically-uninteresting instrumental work. They’re songwriters, these Brits, and they can play their instruments, but that’s not really what they’re out there to do. The guitar work is whimsical and pleasant, and the drums have a full, impactful thump. And the record as a whole evidences an attention to the songwriting as the heart of the band’s craft: lyrics and melody are the meat, and everything else is secondary. This sort of clarity is rare, and it’s a treat the whole way through.
4 / 5 bars
Veronica Falls – Last Conversation
Veronica Falls – Broken Toy
Veronica Falls – Buried Alive