doubleVee, Songs for Birds and Bats
In music and our culture at large, we’ve had enough alliterative bird and bees metaphors to last multiple lifetimes. So perhaps it was only a matter of time before a visionary, intuitive act – in this case, the dynamic, haunting-jangling synth retro-80s/garage rock influenced husband wife duo doubleVee – came up with a fresh approach and gave us something as thematically magical and transcendent (not to mention, cool and hipster) as Songs for Birds and Bats (the name of their new EP).
Making music together since 2012, with one previous full length (2017’s The Moonlit Fables of Jack the Rider) under their belt, doubleVee is comprised of Allan and Barb Vest, whose soaring vocals truly mesh to create harmonic genius. Allan was primary songwriter, lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist for indie/orchestral band Starlight Mints, who played and toured with the likes of The White Stripes and Violent Femmes and whose songs were licensed to TV shows and films frequently throughout the 2000s. Barb has a long history in other areas of the music business, including public radio, producing shows and providing backing vocals for local bands in their hometown of Oklahoma City.
When they tell us in the trippy whimsical opening song, “We are the birds, we are the bats, we have the number one ability to make you understand the future, man…” we can’t resist immersing into the possibilities of just how these metaphorical images apply to them. Fronted by Barb’s delicious talk-sing approach, the EP’s first single “Ladder for the People” darts and weaves through edgy synth fuzz, rhythm guitar bang and a whirring circus of atmospheric sounds, the duo tells a wild historic/metaphoric astro-friendly tale about a man who is hiding terrible secrets and ultimately must confront them; ultimately it’s a metaphor for exposing greed and living in harmony, but it’s a long introspective way there.
Softening the duo’s sharp musical angles and aggressive energy is the final song “Last Castaways,” driven by a lush acoustic guitar strum, Allan’s most heartfelt lead vocal, and a dreamy ambience imbued with Barb’s ethereal magic.