The Veldt “The Everlasting Gobstopper”
Pioneering shoegazers **The Veldt **present ‘The Everlasting Gobstopper’, the first taste of their ‘Illuminated 1989′ album, the release of which has been anticipated for decades. Produced by Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie in autumn 1989 (and remastered by him in 2023), this record was intended to be the band’s first album. However, their label Capital Records shelved the recording (resulting in their debut ‘Marigolds’ album being produced by Lincoln Fong of Moose).
Ahead of the full album (due out in autumn of this year), The Veldt is releasing the single digitally and as a 12” vinyl single via **Disc Drive **and 5BC Records. The accompanying video was produced by **Jammi York **and the late Yuko Sueta. The B-side is ‘Joshuu Lullaby’, a previously unreleased vinyl exclusive, produced by Robin Guthrie in 2023.
One of the most notable first-wave shoegaze bands, formed in North Carolina in the 1980s, The Veldt surrounds identical twins Daniel Chavis (vocals, guitar) and Danny Chavis (guitar). Their unique sound was influenced by Cocteau Twins as readily as Marvin Gaye and free-jazz warriors Sun Ra and Pharaoh Sanders. Referencing European post-punk while embracing modern hip-hop, these trailblazers work with transient dreamscapes as fluidly as solid song structures.
Pitchfork included The Veldt’s album ‘Afrodisiac’, produced by the legendary Ray Shulman (The Sundays, Bjork, The Sugarcubes) and released via Mercury Records, in the top 50 shoegaze albums ever released, while Stereogum included ‘Until You’re Forever’ in the top 31 shoegaze tracks. Their sound also inspired future generations of alternative artists, including TV On the Radio.
“As the benchmark of the new sound we had started to develop, ‘The Everlasting Gobstopper’ was a throwback to our younger days of our family getting together on holidays when Willy Wonka will be playing and the certain atmosphere would be filled with a sense of love and security. Upon reminiscing about this, my brother Danny came up with a riff and then called it the everlasting gobstopper as a lullaby to put his daughter (then maybe one year old) to go to sleep. Thus was born this sound that would develop into what we have right now, says Daniel Chavis.
“This is significant – the birth of the sound that we have come to develop until present, because back then we were quite a different band. Robin pretty much shaved off all the excess and led us toward the sound we have now, so ‘The Everlasting Gobstopper’ is the cornerstone that Robin helped us to lay for our own unique sound, which we still have to this day.”
The Veldt’s journey is fascinating. Performing since they were children, the Chavis brothers’ musical roots lead back to the church and southern juke-joints, and listening to music that included gospel, Motown and Pink Floyd. The Veldt formed in the late 80’s in Raleigh amongst the legendary North Carolina music scene of the time, initially signing with Mammoth Records – leading to a chain of major-label relationships that took the group across Europe and the U.S. playing shows with the likes of Throwing Muses, Pixies, Cocteau Twins and Jesus & Mary Chain.
After moving from Raleigh to New York and a brief period under the name Apollo Heights, the band returned to their original name The Veldt, but now joined by bassist-programmer Hayato Nakao, together forging music that is a heady and sensual blend of shoegaze and progressive soul, dreamy soundscapes and infectious grooves. Some of the band’s recent notable releases include **’The Shocking Fuzz Of Your Electric Fur’ EP **(2017) and the album **’Entropy is the Mainline to God’ **(2022).
Over the years, The Veldt has collaborated with TV On The Radio, Mos Def, Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite), A.R.Kane and toured or played with Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Pixies, Throwing Muses, Echo & The Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, Manic Street Preachers, Phantogram, Modern English, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis, Chuck D, Living Colour and Schooly D.
As of May 5, ‘The Everlasting Gobstopper’ single will be released everywhere, including Apple Music, **Spotify **and Bandcamp. The full ‘Illuminated 1989’ album will be released on vinyl, CD, cassette and digitally. The Veldt is touring North America with Dead Leaf Echo in support of this release.