Posts Tagged ‘Versing’

Like many important bands, Seattle quartet Versing got their start in college radio—Tacoma’s KUPS. The group’s main songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Daniel Salas served as alternative music director there, where he met guitarist Graham Baker, drummer Max Keyes, and bassist Kirby Lochner. Now Versing are poised to spread their coolly combustible brand of rock on those said airwaves…and beyond if the world knows what’s good for it.

Baker, Keyes, Lochner, and Salas have risen through Seattle’s competitive rock ecosphere with nonchalant élan. They cheekily titled a previous album Nirvana, but never mind the bleach: Versing isn’t emulating Sub Pop’s most famous artist. Rather, these four twenty-something aesthetes are forging an exciting sound that finds a golden mean between lustrous noise and ebullient melody.

Emerging from a stint as a drummer in a stoner-metal band, Salas formed Versing as a vehicle to vent obliquely about his political and social views with irony and humor. Populated with strange characters, his songs often double as “critiques of centrism and conservatism, from a leftist perspective. That’s a theme: committing to something or doing something that may be hard but is the better option. However, when I write politically, it’s more allegorical and can be interpreted beyond the political realm. I find that more interesting to write about than my personal life.”

That being said, the pell-mell, ostinato-laced “Renew,” which Salas says is his most hopeful song, has a personal message. “It’s about taking time to care for yourself—even when things are all weird and fucked up.” Meanwhile, the immersive, pummeling “Offering” evokes those twin pillars of 1988 rock: My Bloody Valentine’s Isn’t Anything and Pixies’ Surfer Rosa. “I just really enjoy that droning line of guitar feedback,” Salas says. “We use a lot of feedback on our songs, but I think that’s one of the more deliberately musical uses we’ve found for it. It’s sort of a fantastical song about traveling through a mystical portal to stop an encroaching force of evil, and the feedback is like the whirring sound the portal makes.”

Another fantastical song, “Tethered” is a low-key, Daydream Nation-esque anthem with plenty of dissonance and surging, distorted guitars, plus rhythms that drive piles. Salas explains that it’s “about how people are tied together,” figuratively. “It’s a reminder of the interconnectedness of humans, to people who make excuses for not doing the right thing” for the greater good of humanity.

With Versing, songwriting is obviously crucial, but much of the pleasure in 10000 comes from its guitar textures. They’re swarming, yet also spiky and agile. The funny thing is, Salas writes most of Versing’s songs on his unplugged Gibson guitar. “I like a more shambolic tone than something that sounds really clean and put together. I like there to be some screechiness to it—something that’s not right.”

Salas cites earlier purveyors of abstract rock music Cocteau Twins and Wire as major inspirations. Much of the rock that followed in the wake of 9/11, though, leaves him cold. “9/11 messed up a lot of things culturally, including music,” he says. “It engendered a deep social conservatism and nationalism that meant the chaotic and unpracticed sounds previously common in rock music had to go, in favor of tighter playing, more simplistic subject matter, and super clean production.”

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Gently chiding the Seattle music scene’s self-seriousness while acknowledging Versing’s playfulness and irony, Salas says, “There’s a ‘let’s just fuck around and see what comes out,’ aspect of what we do, which I think is uncommon for Seattle bands.”

Versing’s freewheeling attitude has paradoxically resulted in 10000, an engrossing album that’s impossible to feel ambivalent about.

releases May 3rd, 2019
Sat, Feb 16th – The Sunflower Lounge , Birmingham United Kingdom
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Hardly Art Records is pleased to announce that Seattle riffers Versing have officially joined the roster. The four-piece has been turning heads in the city for the past two years with their taut and brainy take on Northwest rock, and today they’ve shared “Silver Dollar,” a digital single that constructs a narrative around the social injustice of so-called “affluenza.”

This Seattle-based band should have a slew of positives that should be attached to their name. The latest signing to Hardly Art Records mines post-punk, alt pop and shoegaze to create their newest single “Silver Dollar,” a droning number with an attached VHS-style video that recalls James, Catherine Wheel, latter-era the Clean and early XTC in one fell swoop. Heavy guitars are a tell for the band’s previous endeavors, but they never take precedent over the group’s overall melodic focus despite the song’s twisted subject matter — a privileged individual guilty of hit and run who expects to get away with it due to social status.

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“Silver Dollar” is a new digital single from Seattle band Versing.

Hardly Art Records is pleased to announce that Seattle riffers Versing have officially joined the roster. The four-piece has been turning heads in the city for the past two years with their taut and brainy take on Northwest rock, and today they’ve shared “Silver Dollar,” a digital single that constructs a narrative around the social injustice of so-called “affluenza.”Revolver premiered a music video for the track this morning,

“Silver Dollar” is a new digital single from Seattle band Versing.

The founding members of Versing initially met at their college radio station in Tacoma, a port city on the Puget Sound. When the trio’s short-lived garage band—whose repertoire included what they refer to as “a mean Boyracer cover”—went kaput, they added a fourth member, shuffled some instrumental duties, rechristened themselves Versing, and relocated to Seattle.

Now consisting of Daniel Salas on vocals and guitar, Graham Baker on guitar, Kirby Lochner on bass, and Max Keyes on drums,

VERSING – ” Radio Kinski “

Posted: September 22, 2017 in MUSIC
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One of Seattle’s hardest working live bands, Versing synthesize their musical influences —”a sprinkle of Pavement here, a pinch of Sonic Youth there,” says AdHoc—into something fresh. Their debut full-length, Nirvana, is out next week. Versing craft a more spacious, shoegaze-informed guitar sound, coming across like an amalgam of Flying Nun Records-y melodic post-punk, loud-soft Swirlies-inspired gaze-pop, and Pavement-esque collegiate nonchalance.”

Seattle band Versing makes woozy and crackling power pop, ever so slightly askew. The group’s members—Daniel Salas, Graham Baker, Kirby Lochner, and Max Keyes met and collaborated at the University of Puget Sound’s KUPS radio station, and you can hear the world of college radio in Versing’s sundry songs. Together, the band synthesizes the breadth of their musical influences—a sprinkle of Pavement here, a pinch of Sonic Youth thereinto something fresh and exciting.

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Their new single, “Call Me Out,” off the upcoming album Nirvana, exemplifies the band’s laid-back playfulness, along with the thoughtfulness and complexity of Salas’s songwriting. The track starts off with a rush of guitars and rolling drums, before settling into an octave-bouncing  riff. It distorts as it hurtles toward its end, like a Weezer (or, more aptly Nirvana) song that, instead of trading off between soft and loud, just keeps getting louder. Lyrically, the song is a stitched-together patchwork of philosophical musings, with Salas singing, “Distal thoughts at last awoken,” like the too-cool guy at the back of the night-time college class, holding a guitar.

Band Members
Daniel Salas
Graham Baker
Kirby Lochner
Max Keyes