If you’re gonna add a genealogy-themed tinge to your band, your music, or the lyrics to your music, for the most part you can go ahead and call me a fan before I hear the first note. Vandaveer, I love you.
I happened to stumble upon Vandaveer’s old LaundroMatinee session two days and since then “A Mighty Leviathan of Old” has been on non-stop rotation. That is no exaggeration — I woke up around 4 am last night and watched the shallow storm outside, the tiny rain drops illuminated by the street lights, and before long it made sense to get up out of bed and watch that scene with “Leviathan” playing. It fit. I turned it up loud, too loud for the hour, and blew cigarette smoke out of a window that, at least seasonally speaking, normally wouldn’t have been opened under any circumstances.
While I was obviously behind the times when I discovered this particular tune, I’m not when I point you, dear readers, to Vandaveer’s newest offering, A Minor Spell, released just last month. While only an EP, it’s more than enough to hold one over. On this record (and Vandaveer records of old, as well), the pairing of Mark Heidinger and his sister, Rose Geurin (could a woman with that voice have been given a better moniker?), is all at once something one might have heard on the prairie 100 years ago and yet, incredibly modern and new. “Good Morning” sounds like a song my Great-Granny might have sung to her babies but still a song that would fit on the year-end compilations I make for Jude to remind him when he’s older that I love him in so many ways, not least of which through other’s songs. There is an amazing simplicity in these songs and they are a lesson in saying what you want to say succinctly and still yet, perfectly and sublimely, in just enough words. This is a lesson I try hard to learn and as always, a good song helps.
Occasionally, there are hints of a folkier David Gray is Heidinger’s vocals but the backing accompaniment and the coupling of Heidinger and Geurin’s voices make this a new beast. But a lovely beast, indeed. These songs sound familiar in a way I have a hard time placing and yet, I know I’ve never heard a pairing such as this. And for whatever I might have previously heard that might be similar, I tell you, Vandaveer is doing it better.
You’re doing me no favors by listening to/picking up this record; you’re doing yourself an immense favor. I have no doubt it will soundtrack your fall season and that it will do so better than nearly any other yoke of tunes out there.
BUY/LISTEN TO The Minor Spell here.
Vandaveer :: A Mightly Leviathan of Old – Live at LaundroMatinee [MP3]