Watch: The Veldt live on KEXP

When people think of alternative bands, they’d probably name about fifty before The Veldt came to mind. Even within the microcosm of shoegaze and dreampop, the US band have never seemed to get their full due. They’ve never seemed to gain the same kind of love heaped upon them that Ride, critics’ darlings My Bloody Valentine, and even Slowdive have managed. Yet, those who’ve understood their unique take on shoegaze and indie sounds absolutely love them. The band are the very definition of “cult”.

Perhaps it’s their refusal to play safely that’s kept them feeling marginal. Just dip into their 1992 album ‘Marigolds’ for example, and you’ll find elements of hard edged indie, jangle, shoegaze, grinding basslines and drum parts that tip the hat to Fugazi – before Therapy? – made it fashionable, dance oriented drum loops and even a few more soulful vocals.

Their career has continued in a similarly wilful fashion, to the delight of those in the know. Perhaps, just perhaps, if their debut album hadn’t been shelved, their career might have taken a slightly more commercial turn – a record produced by Cocteau Twins’ man Robin Guthrie certainly wouldn’t hurt anyone’s profile, but the world will never know.

That rejected debut – ‘Illuminated’ – was finally released as ‘Illuminated 1989’ in 2023, and the band embarked on a sizable US tour as part of its long promotion cycle. The final stop was at the KEXP studio for a full live set. The 45 minute performance takes in a rather noisy ‘Everlasting Gobstopper’ and ‘Aurora Borialis’ showcasing the revived ‘Illumination’ recordings alongside a few deeper cuts. It might not be the ideal primer for the uninitiated – those yet to delve into The Veldt’s world should check out ‘Marigolds’ first – but those in the know will love it.

Watch the full set below.