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Vera Sola Releases Single/ Music Video For “The Colony”

Today, Vera Sola released the second single,”The Colony,” off of her forthcoming debut album SHADES out November 9th. The single comes with a stunning companion video shot by cinematographer Damon James Duke at Bombay Beach.

Though a longtime member of Elvis Perkins’ band, SHADES marks her first solo effort. SHADES is available for both digital and vinyl pre-order now. Vera Sola recently completed a North American tour with the legendary Rodriguez. She continues to play select dates throughout the US including the Mercury Lounge in New York City on September 11th. Today, Vera Sola has announced a West Coast run of dates with Haerts in December. Full tour dates below.

A statement from Vera Sola on “The Colony”

I wrote ‘the Colony’ very quickly last fall in the days following my return from a while spent supporting native water protectors at Standing Rock. It is loosely the story of America, sung from the perspective of the collective white colonial consciousness. It was important to me in the studio that the lead vocal was delivered in a dismissive tone of casual entitlement, and that the background vocals served as a heavy counterpoint: a choir of the souls who suffered, and continue to suffer, at the hands of the invading oppressor. Voices stripped of language, and left to howl, relegated to the background, yet providing the very foundation of the song, and by metaphorical extension, this country. The whole thing is of course an indictment—a paean to the land and her people.

Singing as the “I” in this case is an example of my divided conscience and consciousness—taking responsibility for, and an acknowledgement of, my part in that collective oppression by virtue of my privilege as a white body. It’s a conscious effort to call attention to that, as well as a deep heart-felt apology.

For the video, I wanted to, as I did on the recording, embody both white colonist and physicalized spirit of the stolen country and it’s first inhabitants. I wanted the setting to convey the sublimity of nature while emphasizing its dissection by industrialism. The boats that brought the first Europeans. The trains that crisscross and divide the land, bear the cargo of capitalism and the individuals that would stake claim to wherever they stepped off the platform. The highways and the power plants and oil derricks and power lines that mark and mar the plains and deserts and forests. Aerial footage seemed key here—a watching from above as if from the perspective of floating souls.

I’ve spent a good amount of time recently in the town of Bombay Beach, on the Salton Sea, California’s largest inland body of water, and current site of critical man-made environmental disaster. It seemed the perfect place to evoke the above—the destruction of the natural landscape, the uprising of industry, actions of prospecting and taking and killing, wittingly or unwittingly.

I met the director of photography, Damon James Duke, at Bombay Beach and as soon as I saw his coverage of the surrounding area, I knew there was no one better for the project. A brilliant eye, and exceedingly intrepid, he was able to help me bring what I wanted to life with unparalleled ease. Together we shot it in essentially a single 101-degrees-in-the-shade day.

Vera Sola grew up between New York City and a farm in Canada, raised by artists, writers and seekers. As a child she was surrounded by music—training early on as a dancer, learning to play piano, and later teaching herself guitar and bass. Writing too was always a passion. Considering she holds a degree in Literature from Harvard, it’s fitting that Vera Sola’s songs are arranged to give words a well-earned place at their center. On SHADES, Vera employs her background in poetry to explore at once the generalities and subtleties of the nature of ‘femininity’. Each song speaks the story of a different feminized character—whether a spurned lover, a stolen country, an anthropomorphized rhinoceros or biblical first woman—delivered with a skilled literary approach and signature turn of phrase.

Recorded in St. Louis at Native Sound Studio, Vera wrote, played and arranged all of the parts on SHADES. With her distinct voice as a foundation, traditional instrumentation and the music of found objects are woven into a soundscape that is all at once complex and sparse. “The Colony” follows up her debut single “Small Minds.”

WATCH “SMALL MINDS” HERE

TRACKLISTING:

1. Virgils Flowers

2. The Colony

3. Small Minds

4. Circles

5. For

6. Black Rhino Enterprises

7. Loving, Loving

8. The Cage

9. By Mothlight

10. New Nights

ON TOUR:

*with Haerts

Sept 11 – Mercury Lounge – New York, NY

Sept 12 – Jammin Java – Vienna , VA

Sept 13 – Ortlieb’s Lounge – Philadelphia , PA

Sept 15 – Cafe 939 – Boston, MA

Dec 12 – Columbia City Theatre – Seattle, WA*

Dec 13 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR*

Dec 15 – Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA*

Dec 17 – Moroccan Lounge – Los Angeles, CA*

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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