So Beggars Group has done it again and brought us another great album.
The Veils (formed in 2002) are a New Zealand band based in London, fronted by Finn Andrews. Their sound has been compared to artists as diverse as Jeff Buckley, The Birthday Party, The Smiths, and Joy Division. Their live shows have become famed for their emotional intensity and Finn’s often scarily possessed stage presence.
“By turns epic, desolate, wildly romantic and anguished, Sun Gangs is a bold and distinctive record described by Finn as “a very modern mixture of prayers, love letters and personal record keeping”. Produced by Graham Sutton (Jarvis Cocker / British Sea Power / Bark Psychosis) it is their most ambitious record yet ranging from the yearning elegy of ‘Sit Down By The Fire’, to the charred, mantis-like groove of ‘Killed By The Boom’ – this is a record unlike many we are likely to hear this year.
So many stories, words, tones and ideas punctuate its gradually unfolding landscape as that incomparable voice cries and hollers. “’Sit Down By The Fire’ is about watching something collapse, and it being quite pretty to look at,” offers Finn. “’Killed By The Boom’ is possibly about The Wire’s Omar Little. ‘It Hits Deep’ is about being a man, in a bar alone, on a tropical island resort, as the light gets dim and the world goes fuzzy. ‘Larkspur’ is somewhere else entirely.”
“I really wanted to write something that hangs together in perhaps a not so obvious way; not just some collection of singles but a real voyage into something, something strange and unspecific but totally emotionally consuming. It’s also kinda just a break-up record in many ways.”
Finn’s father Barry Andrews was a founding member of the highly influential group XTC in the late 1970s, later going on to tour with the likes of Robert Fripp & Brian Eno, Iggy Pop & David Bowie.
In younger days in Auckland, thousands of miles away from his father, Finn sang at a folk club up a volcano, and sidelined a desire to paint when he began hearing musicians like Tom Waits, Nina Simone, Leonard Cohen, Roy Orbison & Bob Dylan – contemplating that there was perhaps more to life than the bleeping Eighties electronica and early days of New Wave which had surrounded his first London foray.
In Sun Gangs The Veils have brought Finn’s early influences full circle, and created a record that truly lives up to the huge promise and talent that they have always exhibited.”