Intergretron, the second full-length from the Vells, was written and
recorded over two years. Two years or two days, it makes no difference. Their
mesmerizing music is fashioned in a land without clocks and calendars. It is
evocative of mystical settings and myriad eras yet securely rooted in the here and
now by the immediacy of its intention and undeniable appeal.
Listen to the opening bars of "Precious Sweet," and the Vells' subtly
orchestrated charms are already audible: Gently crackling electronic textures
season acoustic guitars; the echo chamber-drums of Jeremiah Green pulsate beneath
Tristan Marcum's voice, an instrument on par with Marc Bolan and Ray Davies,
redolent of magic and androgyny . These are a dozen songs fashioned from
textures and hooks. The crisp cymbals and vapor-trail guitars of "Testify
Prestify" evoke memories of late '80s UK indie pop at its most romantic and
inventive, while a cover of the immortal "Silver Dagger" bristles with finger snaps
and spectral singing.
Formed in 2001, the Vells previously released a Phil Ek-produced eponymous
EP on Luckyhorse Industries (2002) and the debut album Flight From Echo Falls
(2005) on imputor?. The Washington-based band has shared bills with acts as
diverse the Shins, Divine Comedy, Spoon, Iron & Wine, the Decemberists, Black
Mountain, Tortoise, and Colin Blunstone and Ron Argent of the Zombies.
The band line-up on Integreton is Jeremiah Green (drums, guitar, amps,
vocals), Adam Howrey (bass), Tristan Marcum (vocals, organ, temple piano, guitar),
Tony Palmasani (guitar, mixer), and Mary Thinnes (piano, vibraphone,
synthesizer, vocals). Darrin Wiener, a k a plastiq phantom, serves as producer and
contributes Moog, "dust," and assorting programming tricks. Tom Peloso of
Modest Mouse plays fiddle on the jolly closer "Once Upon a Whirlpool." The
artwork was designed by fellow imputor? artist Nando Costa. The rest is
up to you.