Let’s be honest, singer-songwriter Mandi Perkins has always stood apart from the crowd. Her early work as a solo artist is a testament to her alt-rock roots, but when she met up with guitarist/producer Dillon Pace in 2010 and percussionist Jeff Sojka shortly there after, their new project, of Verona, led them down a pace of futuristic indie pop sound that is brilliantly unique and unparalleled by any other band out there.
Their debut LP, The White Apple, which was released in 2012, was one of the best indie albums that was overlooked that year. The Los Angeles-based band had their hands full trying to improve upon an album that still gets a ton of rotation at Lemonade Magazine. Now over the past four and a half years, of Verona periodically released singles, that would make it on to their sophomore album, Glass Beach. While, the sound is still distinctly of Verona, the entirety of the album sounds more complete and mature.
On The White Apple, there were times of discord, that made the album raw and emotional, while the trio tried to find their individual voices as a group. On Glass Beach that discord is gone. The new LP relies on their harmonious integration as a band and it works. Their cover of Pink Floyd‘s “Wish You Were Here” is brilliant, unique and fully engaged. When a song is covered as many times as “Wish You Were Here” has been, it takes something special to make it better than the original; of Verona accomplishes it.
The original tracks are equally impressive. “Miracles”, which was released early as one of the teaser tracks, is still a clear winner. It is a grandiose soundscape of Perkins‘s ethereal and haunting vocals and exceptional mixing and instrumentation by Pace and mixer Caleb Shreve (known for his work with Phantogram, Switchfoot and others). It is a highlight track, but there are no down tracks on Glass Beach.
That being said, an 8-track album leaves you wanting more, but for the time being this will be on heavy rotation at Lemonade and Glass Beach is as unique of an album as you will find. It is a must-have.
Correction: The mixing credit on “Miracles” to Caleb Shreve.
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