I first encountered Velvet Black a few years ago when they (with Old James) opened for Crucified Barbara here in Vancouver. They impressed the heck out of me back then, and ever since, I’ve been keeping eyes and ears on the band. Now, Velvet Black has a brand new album out: it’s an enchanting release called ‘Orleans’, and it’s (amazingly) available for free on the band’s official website.
Velvet Black is a self-confessed “alt rock power trio”, and they have a wonderful, unique sound that blends that alt-rock with some strong Latin vibes, an occasional hit of rap, some soul and blues, and a strand of pop. The end result on ‘Orleans’ is eleven tracks that are pure joy to listen to: I can’t get enough of this album.
First track ‘#CANTLIVE’ shows off Velvet Black’s deft and seductive touch – the track is smooth as silk without being over-processed or glossy, and the vocals are just brilliant, with a melody that hooks you and won’t let go.
‘Venice’ is another beautiful tune with some amazing acoustic guitar, a strong Latin feel, and some delish rap thrown in for good measure. Third track ‘Everything is Alright’ is one of my favourites on the album: the vocals are dream-like and there’s something mesmerizing and cinematic about this tune – like it’s a small movie playing out in that mix of music and lyrics.
Another standout track is ‘Nothing But Love’ – a tune that makes me want to dance and, hey, I really can’t dance at all, but this tune makes me think I could. ‘The Wait’ is nigh on irresistible, and ‘Rocking Horse’ seduces with more of that gorgeous, intricate acoustic guitar work and wistful lyrics and vocals.
‘Orleans’ is the kind of album you can listen to over and over again and find something new to love about it. The craftsmanship is top-notch, with fantastic vocals, lyrics and music. If you’re looking for something smooth and warm and beautiful to make your day better, then this might be just what the doctor ordered.
Velvet Black is also playing a string of gigs from May through September: catch em if you can!
- Everything is Alright
- Nothing But Love
- The Losing Hand
- Hey Nanana
- The Wait
- Slow Lick
- Rocking Horse
- Matt – Vocals, Bass
- Jesse – Guitar, back vocals
- Juan – Drums