Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Vévé Seashore: Seven Years of Gulliver

     The Vévé Seashore is a group from New Orleans consisting of Elroy Oversex and Lord F**k, and is a very interesting collaboration. According to their FMA page, where you can incidentally download this album, they say that when the record was released in 2007, it immediately sold out. So, seeing as the vinyl is a rare collector's item, you would be silly to miss out on downloading this fifteen track beauty for free.
     Seven Years of Gulliver is a fantastic album, laced in simple pop hooks,  melodies and tied together with ribbons of psychedelic and experimental rock. The variety in the record is also phenomenal, from the cheery pop tunes to the solemnly dark and experimental tracks. There is a sense with the The Vévé Seashore that they have two personalities, that accumulate into this one record, which they only just manage to keep control of.
     The pop folk songs are brilliant. That's it, just brilliant. The vocals are unique in the way certain  words are spoken, such as 'back' on Marbles on  the Stairs. The tone adds contrast to the tracks that would otherwise be smothered in the simple guitar melodies. These melodies though, while sometimes repetitive, act as a branch from which The Vévé hang the interest that makes the album what it is. This uplifting side to the music is only half the story that can be read from the pages of this record, though equally impressive.
     The dark side to this album is exactly that. A solid wall of noise and drones, splattered in reverb and experimentation. Some feel like falling down a well or running down an endless tunnel. After the bright and joyous tracks at the very beginning and dotted though the fifteen songs, these sounds are a stark contrast, bleak and thoughtful. One such track is 'Seven Inch Script II', with the moody undertones laden with gritty guitar sounds and in the very back of the song, a lady's mournful singing. Incredibly enjoyable, this dark element to the album is possibly the one I enjoyed the most.
     If they hadn't gathered enough already, The Vévé Seashore's lyrics are another plus point stacked in their favour. The verses and choruses are well-written and surprisingly original, but not just in the choice of words. The rhythms and rhyming structure in many of the songs is excellently thought-out, in that just when you expect a word to be sung, the group do something completely different. So, instead of trying to sing along to the upbeat pop melodies, you end up listening in silence and actually understanding what the band is trying to put across. Of course, some words you can guess, as otherwise the songs would be all over the place, but the balance between experimentation and slightly mainstream is handled very well. If I ever meet The Vévé Seashore in person, a congratulations are in order, let me tell you!
     Rounding it all up then, this album is one that exceeded expectations for me, and was instantly enjoyable. An experimental and psychedelic folk effort, the lyrics and balance of both dark and cheery vibes makes this a brilliant record. Some tracks, such as 'I'm a Full Cloud' felt a little off, but not enough to spoil this lp as a whole. Simply put, I demand you check this out  and download it for free at the above link. In a nice way.