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Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States | INDIE

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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Debut LP: "Where Are the People?" Eskimo Kiss Records
"Elephant Kiss" on compilation "Coast to Coast" released by Jar Music (Germany)
“The Juggernaut” Double Decker Bus Music


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Chapel Hill based rock trio has released a second album entitled, “The Juggernaut” on their label Double Decker Bus Music. The group has intensified their creative vision since their debut, the critically acclaimed “Where are the People”. This sophomore effort produced by Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Pavement, Squirrel Nut Zippers) and recorded at his famed studio, “The Fidelitorium,” began with a bang as the band recorded the album’s basic tracks live in one extremely ambitious session. The story was that Easter sat them down at the table and told them he didn’t know how the session would go due to an extremely painful toothache. He promised to get as much done as possible and in turn, the band rose marvelously to the occasion with most tracks jelling in just one take. The result was magical, yielding full yet powerfully raw songs.

Principle songwriters Jay Manley (guitar/vocals) and Jane Francis (bass/vocals) joined by Hungarian drummer Zsolt David, craft more than just smart pop songs with fascinating structures. Manley and Francis bring a lifetime of musicianship to Velvet and seamlessly assimilate a batch of influences including Aimee Mann, Television, and The Pretenders with hints of Guided By Voices, Jimi Hendrix, New Pornographers and Maria McKee. The songs of “The Juggernaut” document the longing for love, the outrage of injustice, and emancipation from the illusory heavy burden of the world.

Since its beginnings as a Wilmington-based art-rock outfit in 1995, Velvet’s artistry and career continue to be upwardly mobile. The band’s work is featured in Daniel Kraus’ debut film “Jefftowne” and MTV bought the rights to use the group’s songs in its reality-based programs. In addition to “Where are the People” Velvet covered “Bad Machinery” for a Let’s Active tribute released by Australian label Laughing Outlaw Records and made appearances on compilations for Magnet magazine and the German Compilation “Coast to Coast,” where the band’s work was placed alongside songs by Ani DiFranco and the Cowboy Junkies. Most recently, two tracks from “The Juggernaut” were chosen to appear on the soundtrack of Jonathan Landau’s new film, “The Last Summer.”

Velvet is a regular performer at both Sparklefest (North Carolina’s power-pop festival) and International Pop Overthrow (Chicago and NYC). The band’s intelligent songwriting and energetic stage presence draws together a diverse fan base with a sound that’s magnetic, thought provoking and impossible to ignore. This year they have performed with The Heavenly States, Destroyer, Ken Stringfellow (The Posies) and P. Hux (“The Orchestra”).