David Vandervelde: Waiting for the Sunrise


Initially claimed as Marc Bolan reincarnate on his debut album, 2007’s The Moonstation House Band, Nashville-based David Vandervelde crooned in a high, wavering voice above spaced out, reverb guitars and a Phil Spector influence "Wall of Sound" production.  However, it appears this early 20-something boy is more than just a glam rock fan as he seamlessly eases his way into new, more laid back territory on his new album, Waiting for the Sunrise.


The album begins with the fairly mellow "I Will Be Fine" sounding straight out of 1975 as you imagine yourself cruising down the highway with the top down and your radio fixed on the AM dial.  After time on the road it seems that Vandervelde, while not completely abandoning his "Wall of Sound" production technique, has taken a more organic approach to his music.  The jangly guitars are immediately reminiscent of Neil Young and the track is peppered with acoustic guitars and some trailing organ lines.  He’s dropped the Marc Bolan impression and taken the distortion off his voice to manifest his true sound, which is actually quite mellow and soothing. 


Other tracks such as "California Breezes" (co-written by mentor and ex-Wilco member Jay Bennett) and "Old Turns" are of the same ’70’s southern-pop sound as he manages to channel Neil Young’s angst and Bread’s light-pop instincts into a chilled back, guitar-lick laden heaven.  There are still a few tracks that will savor the fans of his Bolanesque sound like "Hit the Road" which recalls a Third/Sister Lovers era Alex Chilton but under complete control.  One of the album’s best tracks is "Lyin’ in Bed" a rugged, powerful ballad, again immediately recalling Neil Young, but with Vandervelde’s weary voice crying "Come back around to this town" in desperation and also signals the more personal and introspective lyrical approach to the album.


The genius of David Vandervelde is that he’s able to wear his classic rock influences on his sleeve and yet still sound utterly refreshing and original.  Waiting for the Sunrise also signals that he’s anything but a one-sound pony and gives hope that his future is bright and full of surprises.  Either way, he’s a breath of fresh air in the contemporary indie scene that’s more concerned with neo-hippie folk or synthesized-dance-punk and assures us that rock ‘n’ roll has yet to die.

For more info see: http://www.myspace.com/davidvandervelde

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