Review by Paul Broome
Midday Veil are a rock ensemble hailing from Seattle who operate within (and without) a very interesting sphere – combining as they do the freeform experimentalism of the Krautrock masters, the raw sexuality of the West Coast and a lush vocal style that stretches from shoegaze to madrigal. While the band is based around the original core of vocalist Emily Pothast and synth experimentalist David Golightly, their nature as a collective is self-evident in the far-reaching scope of their compositions and performances. The Current is their second pre-composed studio album, although it’s their fourth album in total including the three improvised releases Subterranean Ritual I and II and INTEGRATON.
When contemplating Midday Veil’s music a phrase that was used as the subtitle of the very first Coil release ‘How To Destroy Angels’ (way back when) keeps coming to mind: “ritual music for the accumulation of male sexual energy”. Remove the masculine identifier in that sentence and associate it with Midday Veil and I don’t feel it would be too wide of the mark. Their music is fundamentally sexual, and ‘of the Earth’. You could almost view them as a kind of gritty pagan Polyphonic Spree, but without the playground tunes and the happy-clappyness.
Calling this an album is almost a disservice, as it’s not a collection of songs – it’s a work with a series of movements. It opens in a fairly conventional, and captivating style with the title track ‘The Current’, and concludes with the 11-minute veritable clarion call of a psych rock track ‘Great Cold of the Night’ – but the four tracks between those two are largely instrumental, liberated and contemplative, like Dante’s Virgil they serve to guide you through the subconscious of the piece from prologue to conclusion. This is rhythmic head music for the 21st Century mind – with a depth and resonance that is all too lacking in the majority of rock music today.
Above all else, what you get here is 43 minutes of unadulterated beauty. Aural beauty that both swathes and swaddles the ears and the heart, and warms and tingles the nether regions. Turn it up loud, throw a few logs on the fire, unfurl your beard, prepare the absinthe and get ready to commune like you’ve never communed before.
8 out of 10
- The Current
- Remember Child
- Without and Within
- Sun Stone
- Great Cold of the Night