In their debut single “If I May,” Australian sensations Chasing Velvet introduce us to the two impeccably talented performers behind the band through a litany of colorful textures and sounds that comprise their identity and direction as artists and entertainers. Their style is firmly planted in the soul category, while their aesthetic is rooted in electro pop ala indulgent early 90’s electronica contrasted with subtle, almost minimalist inspired lyrical themes that wormhole their way into our consciousness with a vibrancy that is both poetically articulate and sonically jarring. I had the extreme pleasure of getting to sample “If I May” and its parent EP, the impending late summer offering Replay, and was treated to some of the most exciting and visceral beats I’ve had the opportunity to review this season.
Being a musician, and a working one at that, is as much about following your instinct as it is setting up a legitimate business strategy like any other self-employed entrepreneur. Instinct will tell you, and this applies to everyone, to follow the music, no matter what the marketing data tells you, and which this is indeed the route that you’ve got to follow if you want your music to have a real, significant impact on pop culture and your scene, it isn’t always the one that young artists choose. And when you think about the appeal of making a quick buck in an industry that is one hundred and ten percent commission based, it’s hardly surprising as to why so many burgeoning acts decide to take the easy way, albeit a way that causes their work too inevitably, and unfortunately, suffer. Thankfully, Chasing Velvet sticks to their guns with their debut, and rather than offering us some cheap pop beats that could have been found anywhere on the FM dial this year, they put in the labor and the creative leg work to deliver something that’s freewheeling, enigmatic, and totally authentic in its pursuit of originality and broad experimentalism (in the most accessible of formats of course).
There isn’t a lot about Chasing Velvet that makes me want to call them an avant-garde pop group, but at the same time, their brilliant melding of rock, rhythm and reggae influences into an awesomely Aussie brand of pop isn’t comparable to what anyone else in their scene – or genre for that matter – is producing right now. Granted, we’re at a bit of an apex for pop music at the moment, with one decade and era of the genre winding down as we make way for a new generation of entertainers to take the reins, but even with that being said, it’s impossible not to take note of Chasing Velvet’s highly desirable narrative and mission. They’re not waiting for tomorrow to embark on developing the sound of the future; they’re jumping in with both feet, no inhibitions to contain their loving, devoted passion that makes their craftwork so exceptional. It’s an incredible time for music right now, and its bands like Chasing Velvet that are making it that way.