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Getting To Know: Velour

The debut EP from South-Coast Synth-Pop & Darkwave duo Velour ‘Last Night at the Paradise Lost’, released by indie-label Gloom Records. The EP features five new tracks, the title song ‘Paradise Lost’ featuring guest vocals from artist Zozëy, and was mixed by Darren Lawson. The following is a catalogue of five songs curated by Joe Grist (Synth) and Brandon Moss (Vocals) on tracks that have had a key influence both as a band and during the song-writing process of the EP.

  1. Drab Majesty - Ellipsis

Having a shared love for L.A. ethereal-wavers Drab Majesty, it was only natural that this single from their 2019 album ‘Modern Mirror’ would have such a profound impact on our approach to songwriting, both musically and lyrically. We find that Drab is able to perfectly balance that familiar, dreamy 4AD sound with earworm hooks and catchy melodies that stay with you long after listening, something we wished to achieve ourselves. It could perhaps be the very reason why we love blanketing our drum machine’s snare in reverb. Lyrically speaking, the theme of timid lovers and their difficulties in communicating feelings is something that we can empathise with from a songwriting approach.

  1. White Lies - Take It Out on Me

The opening track from their 2016 album ‘Friends’, the influence this track has had on us is immeasurable. Having extremely contrasting tastes in music, Brandon and I both found a middle-ground with White Lies, and their unique blend of post-punk, nostalgic synths and bright, contemporary production really resonated with us. The feelings of melancholy and optimism in White Lies music is a key factor in what made us come together and start Velour as a project in the first place, and is no doubt the reason why on our EP we decided to work with long-time White Lies associate Darren Lawson. 

  1. Molchat Doma - Discoteque 

Belarusian post-punk legends Molchat Doma’s track Discoteque from their 2020 album ‘Monument’ reinvigorated our love for synth-pop and new wave. The song is truly hypnagogic, evoking memories of the eighties, a decade that neither of us were alive during. After seeing Molchat Doma on their 2021 tour in Bristol, we were utterly blown away. The band were able to curate a set that perfectly balanced their darker, gloomier roster, with songs such as Discoteque which have a much more bright, poppy, yet still appropriately lo-fi quality. Musically it made us realise the importance of balancing mood in our songs, and helped in my personal approach to synthetic tones and ideas. 

  1. House of Harm - Isolator 

‘Isolator’ from the 2020 album ‘Vicious Pastimes’ by House of Harm undoubtedly had an influence on the production of the EP, the lead synth hook in the intro and choruses, and the driving rhythm has a sense of urgency that we tried to convey in songs such as ‘1409’ and ‘Lilith’. Mike Rocheford’s mourning vocal style adds a feeling of longing to the song, which is something that we see as intrinsic for setting the perfect mood, and is a quality that we try to incorporate into our more emotional tracks. 

  1. M83 - Amnesia 

The title of M83’s 2023 ‘Fantasy’ seems apt for a song such as the likes of ‘Amnesia’, as the track feels like a work of sonic world-building. Immediately the track transports you into another reality, something that M83 have always had no issue achieving. This track in particular has a haunting quality, especially as Kaela’s vocals weave their way into the track during the chorus. There’s an ethereal yet almost cinematic quality to the song that has definitely had an impact on our approach to the production of our EP. Like M83, we are also in love with the darkness. 


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