Vedera | Stages EP

cd_vedera.jpgVedera circa 2005 was the perfect anthemic indie rock band; moody but not rut inducing, all about gradual ascension in song. Circa 2008, Vedera is about immediacy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being age 9 in 1985, should I, by principle as a St. Louisan, despise all things hail from Kansas City? Don’t like the Chiefs, Royals, Comet (Go Steamers! I mean Storm. I mean Ambush…whatever!), but while trudging the interwebs for local bands, I dumbed up on Vedera. Vedera is a band that at the time sounded like Esthero, or Leigh Nash to some people’s ears, fronting Sunny Day Real Estate around the time of How It Feels to Be Something on, or Louisville’s finest, and now defunct, Elliott circa False Cathedrals. They were indie, relatively local, and on a national tour with Eisley, the Envy Corps, and the Myriad this spring, so I caught their set at Pops, and headed over to iTunes when this EP was released to support my regional indie band proper.

Little did I know they were also recently signed to Epic Records. So relax, you rock ‘n’ roll dreamers; the majors haven’t given up on the Show-Me State just yet. To tide over old fans and win over new fans until the Stages LP comes out, Vedera has released the Stages EP, featuring three songs that take away a little bit of the melancholy of The Weight of an Empty Room, their first LP, and harnesses all the uplift Kristen Mays literate and resonant reflections and bell tone clear voice can muster.

Vedera circa 2005 was the perfect anthemic indie rock band; moody but not rut inducing, all about gradual ascension in song. Circa 2008, Vedera is about immediacy; "Satisfy," the lead track, starts off with a familiar melody, hints of "Eternal Flame" maybe, but from there, a lilt of Emmy Lou Harris comes out in May’s voice, and the band’s polish, the production’s sheen is pushed to the forefront. Can you remember Jimmy Eat World on Clarity, and then Bleed American? Remember Death Cab on the Photo Album, and then Transatlanticism? Remember Nirvana on Bleach, and then Nevermind?

Well, if you were an "early adopter" with Vedera (changed from Veda for legal reasons), after you hear "Back to the Middle," full of lilting strings, angelic choral vocals and keyboard over sweetly arppegiating guitar and tom pounding crescendos, you will have to make a decision. Will you love you break in those brand new shoes, or miss the worn-in, slightly broken-down comfort of those old kicks? Well, when I heard the piano of "A World Apart" carry the melody in its John Lennon kind of way, and then shoot for the moon blissfully, sounding a touch like the Fray, I felt a pinch of the inevitable. If the playing field is level, there is no reason why Vedera shouldn’t make it to the big leagues with their upcoming Stages LP, which this EP heralds. I will have no issue with that. I will share some trans I-70 pride…just so long as they don’t break out those red and yellow or powder blue jerseys on stage anytime soon. | Willie E. Smith

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