Ottawa is not particularly known for its local music scene, so whenever I hear a local artist that catches my attention I like to keep a rather close eye on them. Just over a year ago, I heard an intriguing piece of ambient audio that piqued my curiosity, and since then I have eagerly anticipated the release of this band’s debut album. The band is known as Bosveld, and they are bringing new light to the indie folk genre in Ottawa. They have finally released their first record, Veldbrand, and the amount of time and care that these musicians have put into crafting the album comes through in every note.
Veldbrand is anchored around the precise, rolling acoustic guitar playing and deep, droning baritone voice of a man who goes by the moniker of Velodrones. If I had to use one word to describe his playing and the album as a whole, it would be “deliberate”. Velodrones plays patiently, waiting for just the right time for a particular chord or a stream of carefully chosen notes. We as listeners are accustomed to melodies which move quickly, but the vocal melodies on Veldbrand take their time, allowing us to contemplate each phrase as it moves past. His dynamic control adds a tremendous sense of emotion, and the slow pace of the rises and falls of each song adds so much power. Combine these elements with exceptionally clean production and the result is an exquisite record.
It is rare that a small indie band releases a self-produced debut that sounds as refined as Veldbrand. The balance between each voice, the clarity of each note, and the depth of the multi-layered arrangements are what you would expect from a band that has been creating music for years with all the best resources at their disposal. The introduction of every instrument and every effect on this album feels effortless and natural, as if there were simply no other way to explore these songs. The quality of production extends to the flow of the album as a whole, with smooth transitions from rolling, energetic pieces to slow, pensive ballads.
To describe this album any further would deprive you of the feeling of discovery that you will feel upon first listening to Veldbrand, so go listen to it. You can stream it or purchase it for whatever price you choose on Bosveld’s bandcamp page. They are also just kicking off a Canadian tour with dates in Ontario, the east coast, and Montreal. Bosveld puts on a gorgeous show, so don’t miss it!