Veronica Falls
:
Veronica Falls 

click to enlarge veronicafall.jpg

Veronica Falls
Veronica Falls


(Slumberland)

Fans of goth and twee music seem like natural allies, but they're hardly interchangeable. Bullied beta-males and appalled smart alecks populate both camps, but their reaction to outsider status differs wildly (they embrace over-the-top, romantic grimness or whimsical harmlessness, respectively). The self-titled debut from London's Veronica Falls ties both groups' boo-hoos together with a stylish bow. "Found Love in a Graveyard"is patient zero for this mutated strain of indie-pop and, like other songs culled from the band's last year of 7-inch singles, is rerecorded here for clarity (death to fuzz for fuzz's sake!). In addition to the "dearly departed"ghost eluding singer Roxanne Clifford's affections, she also falls for a married man and one about to fling himself off "Beachy Head,"the UK's infamous suicide cliff. It's not that she's unlovable, it's just that when you're pursuing the unattainable shit rarely works out. A vital, tongue-in-cheek disappointment flows through all of these songs. As Clifford puts it, "I've got a bad feeling, and it's not going away."While that sour uniformity of sentiment gives the album its personality, the sound changes up enough to keep it interesting. "Stephen" is crisp but wispy. The guitar rush present in "Right Side of My Brain"and several others is much tougher than you might be expecting (never quite "noisy"though, an important distinction). "Come on Over,"the record's purposefully inviting closer, stretches out a bit to hit both poles—skipping then racing then skipping again. Some lovely bad mood comfort food, this.

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