4 A.D.

December 7, 2007

During one of my recent times randomly surfing around iTunes looking for new music (as I am prone to do), I stumbled across an incredible set of compilations from one of my favorite bands in college: Cocteau Twins.

For those unfamiliar with the Cocteau Twins, though they were never Top 40 hit-makers, their influence upon modern alternative rock (apart from them essentially creating their own genre of music, “4 A.D.”, which is the father of “Shoegazer”), currently most obvious in the very successful band, Sigur Ros, who is quite vocal about the Cocteau Twins obvious influence upon their sound.

While listening to the Cocteau Twins, another 4 AD-style band that I once loved re-surfaced in my conscious: Velour 100. Velour 100 was the brainchild of Trey Many, whom I got to know while he was booking agent to Vigilantes of Love. Trey, at times also in Pedro the Lion, and currently playing with Starflyer 59 (among others), then surrounded himself with a rotating cast of talented musicians, from bands like the fore-mentioned Pedro the Lion, Sixpence None the Richer, His Name is Alive, and Morella’s Forest. One of the most successful former members of Velour 100 is former lead vocalist/keyboardist, Rosie Thomas, although if she had continued in V100 it’s arguable that Amon Krist, their original vocalist, could have one day seen similar success. Anyway, Velour 100 – unlike the Twins – wrote from a Christian world-view a great selection of mellow, swirling tunes, utilizing beds of guitar feedback that can, at one moment, sound like a string quartet, and the next, a swarm of locusts – at the same time lush and beautiful, and psychedelic – sometimes even atonal and dissonant. There’s much to learn by today’s guitarist from Trey Many – his use of a guitar effect made his playing far more than just another instrument in the band: he was at the same time a guitarist, sound-effects artist, strings, a choir, and even a mood altering drug. His unusual use of effects makes Velour 100 worth exploring in and of itself – if it weren’t that they wrote so many beautiful songs, even without the effects.

Here’s my case, and my evidence: a Velour 100 iMix.

Enjoy.

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