Neo-Psychedelia from San Diego: The Verigolds- ‘Grunge’

Courtesy of BandCamp Via The Verigolds
Courtesy of BandCamp Via The Verigolds

The Verigolds are a four piece band from San Diego, bringing neo-psychedelia and indie-alternative modernization, or as they colorfully describe their sound, “where the 60’s meet the 21st century in a sonically pleasant parallel universe.”  The quartet is made up of Eliot Ross (vocals, guitar, viola), Jenna Cotton (vocals, keys, guitar), Ben Smedley (keys, vocals), and Craig Schreiber (drums, vocals). While other tracks contain a heavier neo-psych sound, and alternating between male and female vocalist, “Grunge,” is a beautiful deception of what is to be expected and what is delivered.

A first glance, one would think anything with the word grunge in it would be slightly angry, in some sort of aspect. The closest thing to “grunge” or dismay would be the opening of distortion of electronic sonic noises. That quickly fades as the tempo changes to a playful demeanor, and reminiscent plucking of sounds similar to the indie-experimental side of Vampire Weekend’s “Ottoman,” with the underlying layer of distortion heard in the back. A soft spoken and dreamy voice enters that holds a different range of eras which makes this song, and the band, interesting. Jenna Cotton illustrates, along with The Verigolds, the era of psychedelic tranquility, that emerged from artists in Laurel Canyon in the 60s and 70s. Amongst the look, feel, and certain sounds that can be traced to this root, Cotton’s voice on this track is from another era, which once again adds to the deception of this song that is so attractive. The softness, and a whimsical approach exuded by Cotton takes me back to a certain era and artist; the 80s and Juice Newton, with her track “Angel of the Morning.”

“Grunge” is a multi-layered song with simple beats, drawing from different inspirations musically to produce the blissfulness felt on a good day. It is an instant attraction when heard, and despite being heavily influenced by the psych era, there is a sense of modernization that makes the track refreshing and non-generic.



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