After a bit of an unplanned absence and the Thanksgiving Holiday I am fully recovered from my tryptophan overdose. I hope you are all recovered as well. Now let’s get back on track with the sharing of undiscovered local bands.
This installment of the 50 States of Talent Series which I began last year as a way to search out local talent from all 50 states in the union finds us in Virginia this week with The Velvet Ants. No, it isn’t some sort of a bakers concoction or the infamous “cow killer” ant.
The Velvet Ants are a local band from the Fairfax, Virginia area. Formed in 2006 by Ian Margolycz and Trevor Hart. In 2007 the band released 2 albums on their label T!LT Records, Lunatic Fame and Pixie Junk. It was limited to local record shops in the DC area. In 2009 a re-release of Lunatic Fame was made available to a much larger audience on Zeptune Records while the band took a hiatus. By 2011 work was begun on new material and a new album “Advantage” was released. This album was mixed and co-produced by Ken Stringfellow who you may recognize from The Posies. The Velvet Ants kept busy playing many shows in the metro DC area while working on new material. They released an album of “extras”with the help of Jordan Zadorozny.
Things were good, a loyal following, a steady string of albums and new material yet with all of this local success the band almost fizzled into oblivion. Ian, the only member who wasn’t ready to call it quits was encouraged to “carry on” by Jordan Zadorozny. The result of this encouragement is the third release titled Solt Olio in Fall of 2013. http://velvet-ants.com/album/solt-olio
This is where I stumbled onto the band. I was immediately drawn in by the opening song “Find You”. It has a crisp alternative sound that is old school without really being a throwback. The songs are well written and the flow on the album feels very comfortable. The second song on the album “Cardigan’s Fable” is truer to what you will find on the rest of the album. The vocals are dreamy and there is a definite ambient vibe going on but not enough to put you into a trance. There is a nice balance without one sound overpowering the other The sound is reminiscent of The Posies, Matthew Sweet and The Pixies among others.
The album Solt Olio provides a a pleasurable listening experience from the first note to the very last. Listening to the songs you can hear how well they are thought out. There is nothing amateur about this release. It is so well done that you may forget that this is local talent! The bands current lineup consists of Ian Margolycz on guitar and vocals, Eric Sakmar on bass and Jordan Zadorozny on drums.
The Velvet Ants have a web presence. They have a few videos of live performances on YouTube, a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/velvetants a twitter @VelvetAnts and a webpage http://velvet-ants.com/ You can also find them on Soundcloud and Reverbnation
Check them out at any of the above links but definitely check them out. You will be easily hooked, I was.