In 2013 a young woman from NSW named Celia Pavey wowed Australia with an appearance on The Voice. Now known as Vera Blue, she’s back with an elegant new effort called Perennial, a true showcase for her remarkable voice helmed by Andy and Tom Mak (Bertie Blackman, Boy & Bear) with much of the material penned in California during a US writing trip. The album was written through the prism of that old chestnut, mending the broken heart and each song is placed to reflect three chapters.
Indeed, the first album single was entitled Mended. “Perennial flows in phases, of how I developed as a person over 18 months, to include my thoughts, emotions and even fantasies,” the songwriter tells STACK. “The second chapter of Perennial is very special to me. I was beginning to move past the pain and heartbreak. Songs like Private and Lady Powers are about dignity, strength and empowerment. Magazine is a shift of my attention to the curiosity of what it would be like to be famous.” Of course, like any artist, Vera Blue takes the subject at hand and gives it a healthy twist. When she sings about a certain someone ‘crawling back to me’ on Give In, there’s a creepy electronic ticking effect, akin to a centipede. “Completely unintentional!” she insists. “That moment is chaotic and dramatic, surfacing feelings of anger and frustration. I am a lover of Trap music, so the use of ‘ticking’ trap hats and heavy drawn-out bass drops create the angst in that moment.”
Vera Blue has a burgeoning on-line presence as well. Apart from a cheeky vocal warm up video with Montaigne (recommended for all aspiring vocalists), the clip for her track Private gained plaudits for a remarkable physical performance many can’t believe wasn’t digitally altered. “Alex is an incredible dancer. We didn’t use digital manipulation, we didn’t need to. His movements were all improvised. The clip was really bought to life through chaotic film techniques and Alex’s body movements.”
Perennial is out July 21 via Universal.
Words: Jonathan Alley