Photo by Masha Pershay
Known for dramatic performances as well as subtle, varied recordings, Seattle experimental rock ensemble Midday Veil combines otherworldly vocals and cosmic synths with driving, hypnotic rock grooves to produce music that rewards careful listening and defies easy categorization.
The band began in 2008 as a collaboration between Emily Pothast, a vocalist and songwriter who earned an MFA in visual art from the University of Washington before turning her attention to music, and synth player David Golightly, a classically trained pianist whose studies in composition and electronic music included courses led by Karlheinz Stockhausen in Kuerten, Germany. In early 2009, Midday Veil’s sound was catalyzed by the addition of Timm Mason, a prolific multi-instrumentalist obsessed with modular synthesis, musique concrète and Middle Eastern guitar tones. In 2011, the band added Jayson Kochan on bass, additional guitar and electronics and Sam Yoder on percussion. Rhythmic duties are currently on the shoulders of Garrett Moore, who replaced original drummer Chris Pollina in 2012, following the recording of The Current.
Midday Veil’s 2010 debut studio album Eyes All Around garnered high praise from a handful of tastemakers, however the band’s ecstatic improvised cassette releases Subterranean Ritual II (2011) and INTEGRATRON (2012)—recorded in an acoustically perfect wooden dome built with “extraterrestrial guidance” on a magnetic vortex in the Mojave desert—created deep ripples in the experimental underground.
Produced by Seattle luminary Randall Dunn and featuring original artwork by Robert Beatty, Midday Veil’s follow-up studio LP The Current (2013) harnesses the experimental intensity of these improvised releases with a return to the arena of songcraft. The Current found its way onto a number of year-end lists, including a mention by The Wire as one of the top 15 avant-rock albums of 2013.
The band is currently putting finishing touches on a new studio album, recorded with Randall Dunn and due out in 2015.
A strong live act, Midday Veil has toured the US regularly since 2009, notably opening for krautrock legends Faust on a Northwest tour in 2012. The band’s festival appearances have included SXSW, Bumbershoot, 35 Denton, Treefort Festival, Hypnotikon Festival and LA Psych Fest.