Friday, March 12, 2010


So, I wrote this review a couple months ago, but I'm reposting it here simply because this band is incredible. This review is about their new album "Stages." But their previous album, "The Weight of an Empty Room" is just as good. Man, I really hope I can get tickets to Lilith Fair to see them.


I only recently heard Vedera on satellite radio in the car. Their new single “Satisfy” came on and before I changed the station out of habit, I paused once the song started playing. I kept my finger on the button for the next station, but couldn’t bring myself to push it. I was too enthralled with what I was hearing and after the song was over, I immediately went home and started downloading their songs.

Hailing from Kansas City, MO, Vedera formed in 2004. The quartet is fronted by Kristen May whose undeniably captivating voice is part Nina Gordon (of Veruca Salt), part Leigh Nash (of Sixpence None the Richer) with a little bit of Paramore’s Hayley Williams thrown in the mix. But it’s definitely all powerfully effectual and she brings a uniquely soulful force to her voice that sets her apart from the rest. May’s vocals combined with guitarist Brian Little, bassist Jason Douglas, and drummer Drew Little, fuse together to create a vibrant sound and bring impassioned lyrics to life.

Yes, this is a band that’s truly going places this year. They’re already off to a great start. Their song “Satisfy” is currently featured as the iTunes single of the week. They will be performing at this summer’s return of the iconic Lilith Fair and they are playing the Sundance Film Festival’s 2010 ASCAP Music CafĂ©. They are also gearing up for a tour with Jack’s Mannequin next month.

Their new album, Stages, can easily be described as a ‘break-up cd’ upon first listen. From beginning to end, the album is full of heartbreak anthems fleshed out with an edgy indie rock sound. But it’s also so much more than that. There’s a vulnerability to the lyrics that draw you in from the first word sung and don’t let you go until the last song.

On “Satisfy”, as soon as her ethereal and almost impalpable voice hits the atmosphere, this song takes hold and grips you, making nearly impossible to not immediately push the repeat button afterwards. May’s voice also soars while singing the deeply affecting words of “A World Apart” while the poignant lyrics of “Forgive You” ask the simplest question: “How do you say ‘I forgive you’? And how do you know when to choose to, and when to move along?” You can’t get much more relatable to that.

It’s a far cry from the simple and sweet “If You Go”, which one of the love songs on the album, but “Back to the Middle” is yet another song about loss, but also hope, devotion and not wanting to let go now matter how jumbled and blurred life may seem. Granted, this may all be subjective, but what’s fairly obvious is the pain and longing being conveyed in the music. And as odd as it sounds, with a voice like that, it’s easy for the listener can find pleasure in that sort of pain.

On paper, the lyrics read like poetry; someone scorned and searching for some sort of happiness. Aurally, the lyrics leap off the page and seep in. It’s really somewhat difficult to describe, so I suggest finding out for yourself. Stages was released digitally in October of last year, but if you haven’t downloaded it yet, be sure to pick up a copy when it’s released in its physical format, which was released in February.

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