| “…This is awesome.”
If those aren’t the first words out of your mouth when you start listening to Veda’s The Weight of an Empty Room, I’ll be very surprised. It’s impossible to hear the beginning of the first track and dismiss it as something unremarkable. Because even if Veda isn’t your style, you’ve got to admit—it’s powerful like nothing you’ve ever heard. Not only are the instruments and lyrics perfectly fit for each other, but they’re tied together by vocals you can’t help but worship.
The guys in the emo scene have set the high standards for bands with female vocalists, and not just the legendary guys. The fact that there are so many testosterone-loaded singers pouring out love life confessions makes it hard for any girl to become well-known, much less well-liked. But there’s good news for the females: there’s a new girl on your team, and her name is Kristen May. Kristen delivers the thoughtful lyrics in a fashion that’s raw and elegant and absolutely explosive at the same time. She has astounding range, and when she hits the high notes the way she does… Wow. It makes the insides of your bones goosebump and cry out for more.
Not that the other three members of Veda are anything to be ignored. On the other guitar is Brian Little, who founded Veda with Kristen last year. Their innovative musical collaborations really fuel the album and carry it through and above the blasé been-there-done-that stock of everyday songs. Jason Douglas on bass brings just an ounce of darkness to the group, giving the sound that dust-covered abandoned attic feel in low, eerie harmonies. Last but by no means least is Drew Little, who throws in an unexpectedly danceworthy beat to every track so your body and your soul can rock out together.
If it’s any surprise, by the way, that this band is so incredibly good, you have Ed Rose to thank. In addition to producing The Weight of an Empty Room, he’s worked with Tyler Read, The Get Up Kids, and Motion City Soundtrack. If you haven’t heard of them, check ‘em out after you finish obsessing over Veda. Now… on with the review.
It all starts with the first track, “Trade This Fear.” Its place is well chosen; it gets your foot tapping and your head nodding right away. Additionally, each instrument gets to show off just a little, intriguing you and luring you deeper and further into the album and what more Veda has to offer. Take the red pill and you’re rewarded with “Song For a Friend”, infused with the same poppiness as the first track. It’s followed by “The Falling Kind”, “Lover’s Lie”, and one of my favorite tracks, “Desire On Repeat.” If you haven’t been dancing around the room this entire time, check to see if you’re wearing earplugs.
“Desire On Repeat” and “In The Quiet” mark a more mellow and tranquil portion of the album, so your feet can rest and can get back to work during “It’s All Happening On Broadway.” Oddly enough, this track features the line “You don’t make me wanna dance with you,” but I guarantee you’ll want to dance all throughout it and “Still Standing.” “Redemption Soon” and “Moments Rewound” are marked by Veda’s touch at its gentlest. Soft pleas, questions, and recollections of romantic memories make up the lyrics to these two songs, as well as “Safe.” But “Safe” brings you back to those infectious rock-out dance beats one last time before dropping you into the arms of “Song Four, Side Two” and an acoustic version of “Lover’s Lie.” Veda definitely intends to have you sitting—or at least standing still—for the end, where they awe you the most.
It’s gorgeous, it’s amazing, it’s Veda’s The Weight of an Empty Room, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t run to the nearest CD store and obtain a copy you can be proud to have in your possession 24/7.
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| THE WEIGHT OF AN EMPTY ROOM
Second Nature Recordings
1) Trade This Fear
2) Song for a Friend
3) The Falling Kind
4) Lover's Lie
5) Desire on Repeat
6) In the Quiet
7) It's All Happening On Broadway
8) Still Standing
9) Redemption Soon
10) Moments Rewound
12) Song Four, Side Two
13) Lover's Lie (acoustic)