‘Illuminated 1989’: The Veldt / Robin Guthrie collaboration finally released

The Veldt – photo by Kennedy Miller

One of the most fascinating bands on the music scene today happens to be a band called The Veldt. Still a fan-favorite touring force across North America, they are not newcomers at all, the origins of the band drawing back to the mid-80s in North Carolina. Eventually, the band would work with at least three top producers, release albums on two major labels, move to New York (and subsequently split their time between the Big Apple and Raleigh), and tour with other iconic bands such as Throwing Muses, Pixies, Cocteau Twins, Jesus & Mary Chain, Modern English, Phantogram, The Violent Femmes and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.  All in all, it can easily said that the band is on their own wavelength, which is always a fabulous place to be – their music is always a pleasing immersive experience that should be soaked up.

Now the band are back with a certain treat for their fans, sure to also impress folks who are only hearing about them now for the first time – their ‘Illuminated 1989’ album is out this week via Portland-based Little Cloud Records and North Carolina’s 5BC Records. Why is this album such a BIG deal? This is the original 1989 full-length record produced by Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie, who also remastered the album for vinyl earlier this year. While originally intended to be the band’s first album, their label Capitol Records shelved the recording and sent them back into the studio with producer Lincoln Fong (Moose), resulting in their first album released with the title ‘Marigolds’.

Visually, the band also presents their new video for ‘Angel Heart’, following up the earlier-released lead track ‘The Everlasting Gobstopper’ and the single ‘Aurora Borealis’ (with Elizabeth Fraser making a cameo appearance on backing vocals) with a B-side remix, created by The Veldt. 

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The Veldt – photo by Ed Marshall

One of the most notable first-wave shoegaze bands, formed in North Carolina in the 1980s, The Veldt revolves around identical twins Daniel Chavis (vocals, guitar) and Danny Chavis (guitar). Their unique sound was influenced by Cocteau Twins as readily as Marvin Gaye and free-jazz warriors Sun Ra and Pharaoh Sanders. Referencing European post-punk while embracing modern hip-hop, these trailblazers work with transient dreamscapes as fluidly as solid song structures.
Pitchfork included The Veldt’s album
 ‘Afrodisiac’, produced by the legendary Ray Shulman (The Sundays, Bjork, The Sugarcubes) and released via Mercury Records, in the top 50 shoegaze albums ever released, while Stereogum included ‘Until You’re Forever’ in the top 31 shoegaze tracks. Their sound also inspired future generations of alternative artists, including TV On the Radio.

The Veldt’s journey is fascinating. Performing since they were children, the Chavis brothers’ musical roots lead back to the church and southern juke-joints, and listening to music that included gospel, Motown and Pink Floyd. The Veldt formed in the late 80’s in Raleigh amongst the legendary North Carolina music scene of the time, initially signing with Mammoth Records – leading to a chain of major-label relationships that took the group across Europe and the USA.

After moving from Raleigh to New York, they briefly performed as Apollo Heights before returning to their original name The Veldt. Joined by Japanese bassist-programmer Hayato Nakao, they together forging music that is a heady and sensual blend of shoegaze and progressive soul, dreamy soundscapes and infectious grooves. Some of the band’s recent notable releases include ‘The Shocking Fuzz Of Your Electric Fur’ EP (2017) and the album ‘Entropy is the Mainline to God’ (2022).

Over the years, The Veldt has collaborated with TV On The Radio, Mos Def, Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite), A.R.Kane and toured or played with Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Pixies, Throwing Muses, Echo & The Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, Manic Street Preachers, Phantogram, Modern English, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis, Chuck D, Living Colour and Schooly D.

On November 24, the ‘Illuminated 1989’ album will be released digitally via Portland-based Little Cloud Records and 5BC Records, and available from fine music platforms, including Apple MusicSpotify and Bandcamp.  The Veldt is currently touring the USA and will be joined by TREMOURS throughout December, culminating in a performance at Seattle’s KEXP. The album will be released on vinyl on December 15.

‘Illuminated 1989’ released via Little Cloud Records and 5BC Records
Danny Chavis – guitar
Daniel Chavis – vocals, guitar, lyrics
Marvin Levi – drums
Joseph Hue Boyle – bass
Elizabeth Fraser – additional vocals
Robin Guthrie – programming, additional guitars
Lincoln Fong – programming
Written by Danny and Daniel Chavis
Recorded and produced at September Sound by Robin Guthrie
Publicity by Shameless Promotion PR

MON 11/27 = Atlanta, GA @ 529
TUE 11/28 = Birmingham, AL @ TBA
WED 11/29 = New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
THU 11/30 = Houston, TX @ 1810 Ojeman
FRI 12/1 = Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
SAT 12/2 = Silver City, NM @ Whiskey Creek Zocalo w/ Tremours
SUN 12/3 = Phoenix, AZ @ Linger Longer Lounge w/ Tremours
MON 12/4 = San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar w/ Tremours
TUE 12/5 = Los Angeles, CA @ Gold Diggers w/ Tremours
WED 12/6 = San Francisco, CA @ Kilowatt w/ Tremours
THU 12/7 = Portland, OR @ Show Bar w/ Tremours
FRI 12/8 = Seattle, WA @ the Central Saloon (TremoloFest) w/ Tremours
SAT 12/9 = Vancouver, BC @ TBA
SUN 12/10 = Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown w/ Tremours)
MON 12/11 = Eugene, OR @ Old Nick’s w/ Tremours
TUE 12/12 = Olympia, WA @ Le Voyeur w/ Tremours
WED 12/13 = Tacoma, WA @ TBA
THU 12/14 = Seattle, WA @ KEXP

Now finally, enjoy the full album and share some love for the band on your social media channels

The Veldt online
Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram | Apple Music | Spotify | BandsInTown Press contact

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