For some reason, I’m finding it difficult to start writing about The Velvet Teen. Usually when I pick a band to write about for this series, I have an idea of how to approach them, but this band does something to me on an emotional level that I can’t quite grasp. Intellectually, I recognize that their music is accomplished, rich, layered and willing to stray from the traditional pop structures (especially on the more experimental album Elysium). There is a whiff of twee/emo pop to their music but their complexity, both musically and lyrically keep them from falling into the same category, for me at least, as bands like the The Shins, Keane, or The Wrens (bands that I occasionally enjoy listening to, but feel no need to proselytize for). Yes, some of The Velvet Teen’s music could unobtrusively fit on a Scrubs soundtrack, but something else, something deeper is going on with the band that I can’t quite put my finger on.
Perhaps it is Judah Nagler’s voice: floating, richly emotional, perhaps even a bit other-worldly. In fact, I sometimes have a tough time paying attention to the lyrics because I find my attention shearing off and away from words and into the sheer musicality of his voice. You’ve heard about how some people could listen to Morrisey sing the phonebook? Judah Nagler’s voice has the same enchantment for me, plugging into my emotions on a pre-verbal level.
So I have no clever analysis or discussion, nothing much to say except that if you haven’t heard The Velvet Teen, you should. So I’m going to just stop writing, and let you listen to some of their songs.
“The Prize Fighter”