I’m a sucker for all things shoegaze, including music that often falls under the wider umbrella of dream pop, madchester/baggy, indie pop and some forms of Britpop and space rock. While shoegaze had a limited representation amongst Christian artists, there were a few who really excelled in the genre. Ypsilanti, Michigan’s Velour 100 was one such artist.
Led by Trey Many (who had honed his skills in the mainstream His Name is Alive and Liquorice; also a member of indie rock supergroup Lo-Tom), and rounded out by vocalist Amon Krist (daughter of renowned folk artist Jan Krist) on the debut, the band employed a trio of lead vocalists for their more accessible and also edgier sophomore effort Of Color Bright. Taking turns were Sydney (from fellow gazers Morella’s Forest), Tess Wiley (ex-Sixpence None the Richer, Splendor AKA Phantasmic), and Karin Oliver (also of His Name is Alive).
Whereas the debut–the aptly-titled Fall Sounds–explored folk-tinged ambient pop, the sophomore full-length dove deep into dream pop and quasi-shoegaze territory. There’s hardly a dud on the album, but “Toledo” is one of my favorite tracks. It’s one of those songs that manages to create a sense of longing and beauty, sadness-tinged-resolution, all in the span of 5 minutes. The band also released a pair of EPs that are worth seeking out for those so inclined.
Brilliant band. One of my favorite alternative acts.
Of Color Bright was one of the best albums of the ’90s.