Formed in Houston back in 2017, Velveteen Echo started life as a one-off music video project before shifting into a four-piece dream-pop band. After a pair of well-received EPs, 2018’s Submarine and 2019’s Golden Ring, the band have recently released their debut album, Mirrors/Myths, which was recorded with producer Steve Christensen, previously known for his work with Steve Earl, Khruangbin and El Lago.
Thematically, the band have described Mirrors/Myths as, “a peek behind the curtain of singer Ren Massa’s inner world into a kaleidoscope of feelings”. Musically, this exploration manifests as a swirl of dramatic guitars and driving rhythms, combining the searing indie-rock of Howling Bells with the more wiry post-punk sounds of Interpol. Dark Form, which I premiered on this site back in September last year, brings the record screaming to life through swirling drum rhythms, angular guitar lines and moody layers of intense vocals. Elsewhere on the record, I’m A Story brings a bassy-strut that adds a touch of 60’s girl-group to their angular soundscape, while Spectre opens with an almost nursery rhyme-like keyboard line before descending into noisy decadence, it recalls The Pixies while simultaneously showing the band at their most playful and creative. As the record draws to a close on the soaring A Family Needs, it seems to round Mirrors/Myths off perfectly. This is an album that has a certain nostalgic quality, yet also seems to push forward past that to become fresh and intriguing: an echo of the past and the first sign of very bright future.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Velveteen Echo?
Four friends from Houston, TX making indie rock music – sometimes dreamy, sometimes morose, and sometimes catchy with analogue synths, overdriven guitars, and a dollop of hand claps. Our band started as a one-off music video project in 2017 and we have been performing together ever since then with a few different iterations of drummers along the way.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
We were incredibly lucky to hop on a bill with a very talented local named Dolly Barnes who always draws a big crowd. The venue was a historic bar called Old Quarter Acoustic Café about an hour away from Houston in the dilapidated old seaside town of Galveston. It was an intimate space in a tall brick Victorian building – cozy but lively. It was such a positive experience that I became hooked on performing live.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
I have been drawn to poetry and painting over the years, but I never felt fireworks until I started writing and performing music. It marries the thrill of performing under pressure, with the challenge of crafting clever lyrics, and the craft of collaboration. It is the first art form that has made me feel confident and comfortable in my own skin.
FTR: What can people expect from the Velveteen Echo live show?
Coordinating black outfits, Jake’s wailing Rickenbacker, and a sprinkle of head banging.
FTR: What’s next for Velveteen Echo?
Our goal this year is to share our new album Mirrors/Myths with as many folks as possible. It’s a dark, catchy collection of songs that we’re very proud of. It’s available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp and more. We also have physical copies on CD along with some additional merch on Bandcamp. Once it’s safe to travel again we hope to play at our favorite venues in Texas and beyond.
They Listen To…
Slowdive – Alison
Beach House – Master Of None
Caroline Says – Ghost Pokes
Altın Gün – Ordunun Dereleri
Mirrors/Myths is out now. For more information on Velveteen Echo visit http://www.velveteenecho.com.