It is always an absolute treat coming across a rock group that has you from the first listen – with an influx of indie rock bands over the last few years, there is no shortage of releases within the genre, but creating music that stands out from the crowd isn’t an easy task. The latest effort from Indiana rock group Veseria, 13 track album RLTVTY is a remarkable, genre-fluid project that incorporates elements of classic, folk, progressive and punk rock, as well as elements of blues, without it becoming a chaotic mess.
This in itself is a testament to the composition abilities of the husband/wife songwriting team of Jen and Patrick Roberts, and their joint musical journey creates a stunning narrative that adds a personal, relatable context to their music.
RLTVTY features a wide range of musical styles across the various tracks, creating a beautiful range that will appeal to a host of listeners. While tracks like ‘Zenobia’ and ‘Time to Kill’ are a bit heavier and more punchy, giving us a sound reminiscent of bands like The Black Keys or Shadow Club, the band also gives us fun, folky tracks like ‘Wingspan’, tracks with punk elements like ‘Hunting Accidents’, and even raw, emotional tracks like ‘Safe in Sleep’ that carry the same enigma and vocal style as Florence Welsh of Florence and The Machine. Another track that really shows off Jen Roberts’ vocal ability is the opening track, ‘And Also’ which features masterful horn instrumental elements from Ben Jarvis and William Skirvin.
‘Feed a Fever’ (Starve a cold) has to be my favorite single from the album. Apart from being a harmonic masterpiece, it really illustrates the cohesion between the vocals from Jen and Patrick Roberts. After hearing this, I decided that they are probably my new favorite husband/wife rock duo because the way that their vocals are married on this track is simply intoxicating. The string arrangement on this song is also breathtaking, with cello and banjo elements that are somehow subtle and complex at the same time.
I want to feed your fever, starve this cold – so I can go where you are
Another one of my top tracks has to be ‘And Also’. It starts off with beautifully layered instrumentals and of course, the strong vocals (and lyrics) referenced above, and builds into absolute jive-inducing madness. It is catchy from the get-go, with a soulful rhythm that ropes you in, and after a brief pause at 2:17, the foot-stomping build starts, erupting into raucous elements of punk and SKA that bring the song to a thrilling end. This style really reminds me of 2 great South African bands, namely Hog Hoggidy Hog and The Rudimentals. Being from SA, this was a super proud moment from me. REPEAT!
That which seems so pristine, cannot be as perfect as it seems… everything big and small is beautiful, and oh so flawed
‘Time to Kill’ also really does it for me because I love the blues rock elements and the catchy nature of the song. This song also incorporates some of the SKA/Punk elements that I loved on ‘And Also’ and this is a style that I feel the band does really well. I love the verse that comes in at around 2 minutes, merely because it is something different, and taking risks like that is always something that I admire in artists – all in all, this track is complex in elements and composition in a way that truly shows off what Verseria are capable of.
Having performed alongside heavy-hitters like KONGOS, Panic! At the Disco, New Politics, Blue October, AWOLNATION, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bad Company and Saw Doctors – the power and potential of Veseria simply cannot be questioned. The vocal and lyrical capacity of Jen and Patrick Roberts coupled with masterful rhythm and instrumentals from Corey Lusk and Kyle Perkon make for a winning formula that will no doubt become a regular feature in the rock genre.
Watch the video for ‘Zenobia’ below, and stream RLTVTY on bandcamp here.