Music

The Veils ‘Undertow’ 

The Veils new singleUndertow – the first from their ambitious new double album …And Out of the Void Came Love. 

LISTEN HERE : https://lnk.to/theveilsundertow

“It’s in the blood/ It’s in my blood,” Andrews sings, over sliding guitars and sparse piano chords. “Undertow” waves and rattles like a sinking ship in a storm, evoking Leonard Cohen’s evocative dramas and Johnny Cash’s intimations of doom.

The song’s gestation has been a tumultuous process, as singer/songwriter Finn Andrews describes: “In the year before I started writing this album, I really didn’t think I’d ever write another album again. I was done. I’d irreparably broken my wrist on stage. Then this song came shimmying down the drainpipe, and it really seemed to be encouraging me to carry on. It is, embarrassingly enough, a song about writing songs, written at what I admit was a pretty low ebb for me emotionally. Both my parents are writers, and though I am grateful to it for the life it continues to afford me, it is a complex genetic inheritance.”The Veils have received praise from the likes of Pitchfork and The Guardian andfilm directors David Lynch (who featured them in Twin Peaks), Tim Burton and Paolo Sorrentino, who have used The Veils on their soundtracks.

It’s been seven strange years since The Veils’ last studio album Total Depravity, and Finn Andrews has a new double LP to show for it. …And Out Of The Void Came Love is the result of this tumultuous period of injury, isolation and new life…

“Time is a tempest tearing you apart

Time has a well-known distrust of the heart.”

Following the release of Total Depravity, Andrews released a solo album and began a worldwide tour. One night, while lashing out at a particularly intense moment on piano, he broke his wrist on stage. “It sounds wild and Jerry Lee Lewis-esque, but it was an absolute fucking nightmare,” Andrews says. He played on and finished the rest of the tour, but it wasn’t until he got it examined much later that he realized what a bad move that was. “The scaphoid bone in my wrist had died, which I didn’t know was possible. My sister said that at least it was a really ‘on brand’ injury for me.”

Finn’s convalescence meant a lengthy hiatus from touring, so he did what he does best and stayed at home and wrote songs. “I was in a cast and couldn’t use my right hand. I sang the melody lines, then recorded the right hand piano part, then the left hand part. It might have been an interesting, avant-garde process if it wasn’t also just profoundly annoying.” 

“I speak to the darkness and I vent to the void

I fill in the sad bits with the parts I enjoyed”

Just when his hand had healed sufficiently for him to play again, The Veils found themselves in need of a new record label but Finn set about starting to make a new record regardless. Producer Tom Healy invited Finn to his small studio underneath the old Crystal Palace ballroom in Mount Eden, and they listened through the legions of songs he had amassed throughout the previous year.

“Tom was incredibly patient, it was a really laborious process – I brought a lot of junk down there and we had to sift through it all to try and find the parts worth saving.”

Following another two years of intermittent recording between lockdowns, Finn’s wife became pregnant, and yet more songs started coming.

“Unlived moments within you

Further than I can see”

By the time the songs had been recorded, it was clear that arranging the album into two halves best suited such varied material – but the meaning of the songs as a whole still eluded Andrews. “Then my daughter was born, and suddenly the whole record made sense to me,” he says. The music was telling a story, and somewhat strangely for The Veils, it seemed to have a happy ending.

The result of all these years of questioning, confinement and precarious uncertainty is the magnificent new double album from The Veils … And Out Of The Void Came Love. It is an album intended to be listened to in two sittings with a short break in the middle, or as Andrews instructs: “Make a coffee or smoke a cigarette – but don’t mow the lawn or go to the movies or something, that takes too long.”

Composer Victoria Kelly’s soaring string arrangements play an integral role in bringing the songs to life, as do musicians Cass Basil (bass), Dan Raishbrook (lap steel, guitar), Liam Gerrard (piano), Joseph McCallum (drums) the NZTrio and special guests the Smoke Fairies on backing vocals. 

A Brief History of The Veils

Since being signed to Rough Trade when lead singer Finn Andrews was 16 years old, The Veils have now released six studio albums: The Runaway Found (2004), Nux Vomica (2006), Sun Gangs (2009), Time Stays, We Go (2013), Total Depravity (2016), …And Out Of The Void Came Love (2023) and two EP’s, The Troubles of the Brain (2011) and The Abbey Road EP (2013). Finn’s debut solo album One Piece At A Time was released in 2019.  The Veils have toured consistently throughout their twenty year history and garnered a formidable reputation as one of the world’s greatest live bands. They have also been praised by film directors Paolo Sorrentino, Tim Burton and David Lynch who have all used their music on their soundtracks.

Finn now lives in New Zealand with his wife and daughter.