From album opener ‘Through the Deep, Dark Woods’, it’s apparent The Veils have not lost any attitude or intensity in the four years since Sun Gangs. Opening with an urgent tumble of drums, the high energy track keeps its drive from beginning to end. Drummer Raife Burchell beats frantically in an impressive drum workout while staccato guitar chords cut over Sophia Burn’s heavy bass. Sparse harmonies embellish Finn Andrew’s vocals at all the right moments, keeping things interesting and with such an urgency to his delivery, you almost forget there are still nine tracks to go.
Lyrically inspired by the death of the older generation of his family, Finn says the album’s title and content come from the inevitable feelings of time, death and love. ‘Train With No Name’ paints images of mortality with repetition of several poignant phrases such as, “love gather your rose buds while you may because when night arrives it’s here to stay,” and “we know there’s no turning back, the road ahead is burned to black”. Delivered over a shuffling groove and piercing guitar work reminiscent of early Editors, it’s a haunting song that proves the virtues of simplicity.
There are moments of madness that are positively Pixies with Finn’s intonation echoing Frank Black’s screech commendably. ‘Dance with the Tornado’ is the album’s turbulent beast, explosive in dynamics and ringing with an edge that The Veils have so well polished. The chorus drops away to nought but delicate guitar and haunting vocals before Burn’s bass pulls the band back into raucous action. Rising from the ashes is ‘The Pearl’, a mid-tempo groove that subtly builds into an almost David Byrne style repetition of the phrase “I’m tryna keep real calm, try not to shake my drinkin’ arm.” With delicate additives delivered steadily throughout the song, it really showcases the band’s ability to keep up a song’s momentum without losing attention.
Never a band to stick to just one mood, ‘Turn From the Rain’ skips along cheerfully: driven by bright piano and acoustic guitar work and displaying some great horn work . The mood is again picked up by second to last track ‘Another Night on Earth’, only this time it is betrayed by some of the darkest lyrics on the album, “so I headed home alone to mama’s ghost and daddy’s cancers, is it worth it if I get hurt just for another night on this earth?”
Those holding out for a ballad will be forced to wait for the album’s final chapter but won’t be disappointed. ‘Out From the Valley & Into the Stars’ is an empowering tale of wandering, delivered in Finn’s emotional quiver. Starting out as a quiet budding seed, the instruments build in intensity and flourish into a powerful finale with shimmering piano and majestic horns. It’s a beautifully constructed track that could have found a home on any Veils record but found itself most comfortably closing Time Stays, We Go. A varied and polished album, it was thoroughly worth the wait.