Jess and George met at party in 2009, with their spontaneous duet of the Prince song, "Pussy Control". Soon after that they formed a band around a principle of originality and ruthless editing of their work. The name of the band draws inspiration from southern author William Faulkner who would tell his writing students that 'sometimes in writing you must strangle your darlings'.
Jess is a trained classical violinist but picked up cello and discovered that she was actually a bass player. George found his degree in English Lit pays better as an indie musician and so learned the mandolin. They have written and toured as a full band but once they decided to tour the US full time and in a 20 foot RV, there was only enough extra room for the little dog.
The music is built on deep sense of rhythm and groove, carried by George on mandolin and Jess on custom tenor bass & foot drums. His mandolin bursts out in a slalom of notes and snare drum rhythms. Her solid body custom tenor bass weaves an intricate counter melody and her feet pound a percussive groove. The voices and the lyrics are the hidden third member of the band and the story behind the music. The songs work with nontraditional subjects for inspiration. Some song subjects include: the works of great authors (Faulkner, William Blake, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Donald Bartheleme, Anna Ahkmatova) as well as witchcraft in the Civil War, the morality of Somali piracy and the media impact of Neil Armstrong.
Strangled Darlings have released 3 full length albums and one EP, receiving critical praise from local and national press alike. In between touring, they live in South Londonderry, Vermont.
Genre: Americana Doom Pop
"Strangled Darlings have created a brand of swampy, darkly grooving, foot stomping music."
"Driven by relentless descending bass riffs and some cookin' mandolin."
"Take what you think you know about folk music, Americana and the likes of that, crumple it up and set it on fire or something. Strangled Darlings have expert song writing, exquisite musicianship, funky beats, flowing melodies and a twisted sense of humor" New England Music News
"Veech’s voice is full of passion and ruggedness, mixing folk with punk and creating a new genre that makes a statement and stands tall."
Strangled Darlings are:
George Veech: vocals, mandolin, harmonica
Jessica Anderly: vocals, tenor bass, foot drums/percussion
A TINY STORY...
In 2013, George Veech sat down on his couch to think about starting a new band. Jess Anderly played ran fat scales on the cello in the corner of the small living room. It was winter in Portland, Oregon and while it rarely gets cold enough to snow, the sun comes out about every two weekends for about six hours.
“Those are good hours to be impressionable. The sun can be quite memorable breaking through the clouds after days of gray. This time though: nothing.”
“I told him the economy sucks, CD sales are boutique niche at best & if you don’t tour full time, you die,” say Anderly.
That pretty much sums up the impetus for the latest Strangled Darlings album & incarnation. The winter of discontent was made glorious Portland summer by dint of will & sale of personal effects. Claiming Portland as their home town simply for the tiny house street cred, the duo lives in a 19 foot RV & tours non-stop. The music reflects this decision and explores the meaning of having and not having things.
“The objectness in music is a tough thing to define. It suffers from the same problem free market health care. There are a lot of angry old guards out there wondering where the royalty checks went. I suspect we’d be considered new model gentrification for Indie Music only maybe we represent the ‘correction’ in the market.”
Anderly’s bass lines, as played on her six string cello with frets weave a counter melody to Veech’s maturing mandolin playing. To expand the sound out of the folk genre, he simply adds a pinch of dissonance to the live sound against the relentless slap wound strings on the cello’s ebony neck.
The lyrics remain the hidden third member of the band and the story behind the music.