Veridian – ‘NoVella’

By Gem Rogers

Three years is a fair amount of time between releases, but since the release of their 2017 debut EP ‘40826d’, Reading five-piece Veridian haven’t been slacking. Honing their craft on stage alongside the likes of Dream State, Mallory Knox, Normandie, and Holding Absence, theirs is a name that is steadily becoming familiar to gig goers, and sophomore EP ‘NoVella’ offers the perfect opportunity to showcase their newfound experience and growth.

Opening with a big, bold riff on ‘Halo’, ‘NoVella’ is more stadium filler than pure pop rock, brimming with a confidence that wasn’t quite there on their debut; the sweeping, rich sound that runs through the core of the EP is draped in the conviction of a band who’ve found exactly what they were looking for. An unexpected key change in this first track feels almost unnecessary as it powers through an epic, orchestral second half, but it makes one hell of a statement to kick off the EP, immediately showing how far they’ve come in the last three years and builds on the sound they began to create on ‘40826d’.

‘NoVella’ is often reminiscent of Mallory Knox as each track pairs catchy, poppy melodies with warm alt rock – but with creeping hints of technicality that take more influence from progressive rock and dancing, electronic beats, there’s an extra layer of intrigue and interest, especially on standout track ‘Friends’. It’s in these moments that it feels like we’re most clearly hearing Veridian as they add their own identity to a genre and style of music that isn’t always known for being the most innovative. ‘NoVella’ explores a range of these sounds across its runtime, creating a varied and fresh experience without losing cohesiveness; it’s not necessarily groundbreaking, but nor is it in any way tired, and with the kind of big, enticing choruses that call for repeated listens this is a collection of tracks that are more than worthy of attention.

If there’s any criticism, it’s that the tracks don’t always sound as crisp and sharp as they deserve, occasionally feeling almost cluttered – the chorus of ‘Easier’ is the biggest culprit here, losing any kind of the delicacy that can be found elsewhere. It’s a minor point and takes little away from the EP as a whole, with the overall warmth of the sound complimenting vocalist Simon Jackman’s soft, clear tone, but there’s room here for some of their more powerful moments to shine even brighter.

‘NoVella’ is the sophomore EP many bands could only dream of, nestling the best of melodic pop into epic, anthemic rock that’s not only easy to listen to, but also emotive, uplifting, and thoroughly enjoyable. Veridian have made a sure and certain step in shaping their identity and future with this release, and it’s a future that looks incredibly – and deservedly – promising.

GEM ROGERS

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