The first single from doubleVee’s debut album The Moonlit Fables of Jack the Rider, “Frucus Minus (The Flycatcher)”, gives novices and newcomers alike a powerful glimpse of what Allan and Barb Vest are capable of under the banner of this project. Allan Vest spent nine years fronting and writing songs for the band Starlight Mints before embarking in 2012 on this project with the then-named Barb Hendrickson. Their artistic sympathies soon blossomed into something more and the duo married in late 2015. This debut is a powerful effort from a new artistic force on the indie scene and Barb Vest brings some unique qualities to bear that have truly sparked something brighter in Allan Vest’s immense talent. “Frucus Minus (The Flycatcher)” is a superbly representative and produced number that offers listeners a key with which they can enter this album’s world.
You’ve never heard a hook quite like this. The loping bass line reverberates so prominently throughout the song that it defines it early on – it might be an adjustment for some listeners initially, but if you give yourself over to this method of attack, your willingness is soon rewarded. Allan Vest’s angular and utterly clean guitar lines come at you from a variety of directions. Sometimes they pop up out of the mix and surprise you; other times, his six string comes in at perfect moments experienced music fan will expect. His vocals are a top notch match for the guitar playing – emotive and even a little raw at points, but also clear and immensely musical. His phrasing marks another high water mark for the song and he shows an unerring instinct for placing his voice in the right places and pitching it just right. There’s a definite pop edge to the song thanks to these sort of elements, but that sound never comes at the cost of undermining the duo’s artistic credibility.
Allan Vest’s guitar work might be the song’s not so secret weapon. There’s definitely a strong indie/alternative rock influence in the way he approaches the instrument, but there’s certainly an art rock aesthetic likewise informing what he does. Some of the passages seem like he’s coaxing the sounds from the strings, others resound with considerable force, and some runs seem to tumble out of him virtually unbidden. The variance in his mode of attack makes his playing all the more memorable. The duo has produced a superb video to go along with this package. It probably engages in a little more overt storytelling than the lyrical content, but the video certainly has the same sort of playfulness and a sense of visual artistry that isn’t commonplace. Oklahoma’s doubleVee has a very idiosyncratic take on established genres and it keeps listeners guessing throughout. Rest assured – “Frucus Minus (The Flycatcher)” is representative of the album’s overall quality without ever imitating other tracks. It’s as individualistic as they come.