Vena Portae: Torn Pages, Elliptical Pleasures

Remember when bands were just bands? You know – sticking together through thick and thin, the last gang in town, endless solidarity, yadda yadda.

Time was when your belief in a band could be shaken to the core if, say, the bassist nipped off to pootle around in a side project.

No-one cares about this any more, of course, least of all bands themselves. It’s so easy to record songs today (hell, Gorillaz have whelped an album they recorded on an iPad) that obscure side projects, intercontinental-collaborations and secretly-longed-for self-indulgent free-jazz ensembles are the norm.

Vena Portae (which, band name fans, is a vein that carries blood to the liver) is the collaborative side project of Emily Barker and Dom Coyote. As an example of the democratisation of technology, information, and, thus, the un-boxing of creativity, their song Day After Vows is perfect.

Day After Vows is essentially an example of the music of now: quickly made, fire-and-forget, endlessly curious. These songs aren’t designed to please crowds or act as the tuning fork of a generation of disenfranchised teens – they are made simply because the artist wanted to, and as such they can stand purely on their own merits.

Capturing of a moment of pure creativity, momentum and inspiration, this song lulls, soothes and poses as many questions as it answers. Found sounds are snatched and bent for the purposes of a song with no reference points.

Consider it a lovely curio, a glimpse of a sudden urge, a torn page from a bursting notebook, and it’s an art piece; approach it as an elliptic dream-song and it’s a sensual pleasure. If this is the future, I’m more than happy to slip quietly into it. //

2 thoughts on “Vena Portae: Torn Pages, Elliptical Pleasures

  1. It IS an idea for an article I grant you, but to be honest, I can’t think of ONE band who ever stayed together, like buds, supporting each other, ‘thro thick n thin’, any band I ever knew got to hate each other fairly quick and did the dirty on other members if the occasion arose. Cept maybe for the old Rolling Stones,yeah they stayed together, but the hate between them is palpable.

  2. Funny how the zillions of pounds they earn for each show they do keeps Mick and the boys together, isn’t it?

    But yes, I take your point – being in a band is like being married, except when you get married it’s only to one person, who you’re sexually attracted to, and without a drummer always needling you for more influence in the songwriting.

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