Album Review

Veryan – HERE: Album Review

The latest release from Cue Dot Records finds electronica musician Veryan exploring feelings and associations that come with a sense of belonging.

Release Date: 19th March 2021

Label: Cue Dot Records

Format: CD/DL

Having a sense of belonging is in itself a sort of abstract emotion. Where we feel we belong changes and morphs over time with previous safe spaces evolving in to something uglier and tainted whereas somewhere that was intimidating or off-putting can over time become somewhere you feel is part of you and your narrative. Belonging doesn’t always reside within specific postcodes. It can be a record shop on a Saturday afternoon with friends. A catch up with a relative in a cafe on a busy high street. If you’re lucky it can even be a workplace. So is it geography that feeds a sense of belonging or is it people? Again there are many varied ways of looking at this as you can feel terribly isolated and separate in a large group of people or you can feel tranquil and at ease in your own company.

All of these concepts are explored beautifully by Veryan on here new long player titled HERE. As is befitting of such a theme, HERE deals in abstract instrumentals with Veryan allowing her music to guide your own thoughts on the subject whilst making her points on the subject clear with track titles such as Outsider, Restless and Loss allowing you a mental guide to where the artists own thoughts and emotions were when creating each piece. HERE is an album in transit with each track slowly stepping into the next with an ebb and flow that allows for a settled mindset when listening. There are no sharp edges or sudden bursts of sound with which to unsettle you. Everything is rounded and smooth and even on the heavier tracks where more percussion is highlighted, Veryan never allows you to lose focus. Each piece a mantra of repetition and slowly layered emotions.

One of the strongest points to HERE is Veryan’s obvious skills with melody. The artist has a keen ear for what melodic ideas should go where making this a form of modern pop music that you could imagine getting the remix / vocal treatment. Listen to the way that the guitar teases a melodic line on Outsiders before the synths take centre stage or the hook-laden Acceptance which burrows its main melody into your subconscious making the piece feel instantly familiar…it feels like it belongs to you.

This gift with melody and arrangement is the album’s strongest point as Veryan could easily have made a cold and distant album considering her chosen format to tackle such themes yet there is a warmth running throughout. A distinct human voice that just happens to be using machine music as her means of storytelling. Veryan is also unafraid to let the shackles off and hit you with a more dense sound like on album highlight, and closing track, Here. Here is a piece of music where you get a true emotional release. It is big and it is uplifting..triumphant even. It (Here) would not be as effective though if it hadn’t have been for the tracks preceding it which have guided your mind through a myriad of scenarios and emotions.

The saying goes “it’s not where you’re from / it’s where you’re at.” HERE manages to discuss both aspects of this saying without muttering a single word. It allows for thoughts to drift to the past and the emotions tied therein whilst also celebrating the now and where you are at the time of listening. Do you feel like you belong? what is belonging anyway? These are big questions and with this album, Veryan allows you time and space to maybe find a few answers for yourself and any album that gives you that feeling of security to explore such deep emotional themes certainly belongs in your collection.

Veryan online: Instagram / Twitter / Bandcamp

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