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The Veils - Album Review: ...And Out Of The Void Came Love

02 Mar 2023 // A review by roger.bowie

The Veils have a new album out today, their first for seven years, and it’s called ….And Out of the Void Came Love.  Seven years since Total Depravity, and one might deduce that it might not have worked, that state of total depravity. That void.

But for Finn Andrews, the past seven years have been both transformative and traumatic. Coming back to New Zealand brought him a sense of freedom to live, away from the intensity of the songwriter/performer’s life in London and on the road. Only for that freedom to be curtailed by Covid and constrained by a freak fracture of his wrist while playing that one last phrase, that one last note on tour on the piano. Risky business, piano playing. Ask Elton John.

The void was mitigated, severely so, by the release, in 2019, of his highly acclaimed solo album, One Piece at a Time, which revealed his softer side, with songs which ordinarily would not fit a Veils environment, which could be defined as stridency in the delivery of generic Finn Andrews melody. So we were left with the melody, in more Americana style, and the beauty of Finn Andrews as a songwriter and performer shone through. But this was before Covid, and before injury, and we were left with subtle tastes of a future Veils, through his solo tours and occasional incarnation of Veils live gigs, albeit a band in transition. And then there was post Covid supply chain blues, and war in Ukraine, which delayed the release of this new album for the love of vinyl, which has only just reappeared as a made in New Zealand thing. Who knew that prior to 2022, much of our vinyl was manufactured in Ukraine?

But there’s always silver in the lining, and in Finn and his partner’s case the arrival of a baby daughter some six months or so ago. That will change your life!. But also bring meaning and order to the shape and selection of songs, 15 of them, which make up the Love which came out of the Void.

Time is a devil, a riddle, a tempest and it owes him nothing, is what the opening track, which we first heard at the Hollywood Avondale in November 2020, testifies to, a premonition of bad things to come, except it has obviously not turned out all that bad. After all Time is also a miracle which has sung to him sweetly, a story and a rhyme, and it’s what we have left when all the rest is gone. We’re coming out of the void.

No Limit of Stars is also refreshingly familiar, another debutante from three years ago, and also more Veils-like with sweeping backdrops against a vibrant beat. Orchestrated by long-time collaborator Victoria Kelly with the NZ Trio. Channelling his inner Cave.

And the most recent single release, Undertow, speaks to the challenge of his craft, which he was born into, and all it takes is all his love, yet the undertow lurks and takes him deep. An introspective and somewhat dark deviation from side one’s mainly outward looking perspectives on cosmos and the bigger world.

But already there’s a hint that the new Veils album is softer than before and yet heavier than Finn on his own. We may have a synthesis in play. When does Finn Andrews become the Veils and vice versa? Maybe when out of the void comes love.. But don’t stop, listen on…..and on…..

Bullfighter thunders in with screeching distorted vocals and the promise of a cut loose moment when performed live. Big reverb riff. The hand of God gives way to The World of Invisible Things, again heavy on the reverb, and another song we have heard before. Cosmic waves. Turn up the volume. Best dressed loud.  Riddles from outer space.

Epoch is angry Veils, or angry Finn, shouting megaphone-like warnings of impending doom. And after the storm, despite the wicked wind, an eery scenario emerges in the context of Diamonds and Coal, before we are again transported through time to The Rings of Saturn, which are all made of nothing, which is something you can’t find on your own and this majestic melody closes out side 1, unless you are on digital in which case you MUST press pause and grab a coffee or something stronger after this roller coaster rode through the void…..

This incarnation of the Veils is a hybrid of old and new, with Dan Raishbrook on guitars and Liam Gerrard on keys, coming back to the fold from his home in New Zealand. Joined by Kiwi luminaries Joe McCallum on drums and Cass Basil on bass. The New Zealand Trio provide strings, choreographed by Victoria Kelly, and the Smoke Fairies from the UK provide backing vocals, as we slip into part 2, spitting blood and knitting teeth as Finn is Made From Love With So Far To Go on his journey out of the void.

Flamenco guitars introduce another search for love, a hero’s journey in a hickory boat  through a great storm before a deep dive  discovers The Pearl, whose tantalising sheen turns out to be ominous and threatening. Someday My Love Will Come maintains the maritime analogy with a song which is quintessentially solo Finn.

Part 2 is decidedly terrestrial in setting, and more personal in perspective, it’s almost like the first side presents a macro view of the void, and now we go micro in search of love. And further, into burlesque evocation of Gilgamesh in The Day I Meet My Murderer, which is an odd and somewhat humorous incursion or maybe retreat into the world of the void, when burlesque then meets cabaret Between The Ocean and The Storm.

Ah, but our hero’s journey is coming to an end with a  final two songs of tranquillity,  I’ve Been Waiting for it, which we must surely deduce is love, and in a final enchantment, Finn brings a song written by his father, Barry Andrews, a lullaby no less, a Cradle Song  which was written to him as a baby, and now ends the journey as a song to Barry's granddaughter. That must be it, the journey from the void of deprivation ends with a beginning?

Or is it the journey from depravity ending with love?

Or is it simply the synthesis of Finn Andrews unVeiled?

It’s now over to you to make up your own mind but And Out of the Void Came Love  is a masterpiece of contrast,  coherent and sometimes less so, always entertaining, never dull, with all the gyrations of a true hero’s journey.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About The Veils

Fantastic local wunderkind Finn Andrews & his band The Veils have been lauded internationally for their outstanding debut album 'The Runaway Found'. Heralded as one of the best debut albums ever, 'The Runaway Found' has captured the hearts & minds of many, thanks to Finn's clever & contagious songwriting & his undeniable star factor.

After the success of first single 'The Tide That Left & Never Came Back' [peaking at #2 on the NZ rock radio chart, remaining on the radio charts for almost three months & playlisted on ZM, The Rock & The Edge, as well as the b-Nets, Kiwi FM & other smaller regional stations] The Veils now drop their second NZ single, the storming album opener 'The Wild Son'.

The personnel who constituted The Veils for the debut album – 'The Runaway Found', released February 2004 - split up 2 months after the record's release. He returned from London (where he was born, in 1983) to New Zealand (where he'd moved during his teens) and recruited new musicians with the vow, "We must make things as terrifying and exciting as can".

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Veils

Releases

...And Out of The Void Came Love
Year: 2023
Type: Album
Time Stays, We Go
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Troubles of The Brain
Year: 2011
Type: EP
Sun Gangs
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Nux Vomica
Year: 2006
Type: Album
The Runaway Found
Year: 2004
Type: Album

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