Currently based in Manchester, the acclaimed shoegazer duo The KVB initially was started back in 2010 as the solo recording project of singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Wood. Wood had a series of limited cassette and vinyl releases. In 2011, vocalist, keyboardist and visual artist Kat Day joined the project. And over the next decade, the duo released several critically applauded albums and EPs through a several different labels before signing to Geoff Barrow‘s Invada Records, who released 2018’s Only Now Forever.
Each of the duo’s acclaimed releases found them blending the reverb soaked shoegaze with minimalist electronic production simultaneously inspired by The Jesus and Mary Chain and Cabaret Voltaire — but while increasingly streamlining their sound with each subsequent effort.
Having toured extensively across the European Union, the UK, China, Russia and Japan, the Manchester-based duo have amassed a devoted fanbase globally. And during the pandemic, the duo relocated from Berlin to Manchester to work on new material with Andy Savours. The duo’s latest single “World on Fire” is the first single from those sessions and interestingly enough, the track finds the duo further refining their sound: Starting with burst of drum machine, the song is centered around buzzing and slashing power chords, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a relentless motorik groove and a euphoric hook paired with the duo’s breathy boy-girl harmonies. Sonically, the track finds the Wood and Day pushing the boundaries of shoegaze in a similar fashion to Lightfoils, BLACKSTONE RNGRS and others while giving their sound a gauzy, New Order-like sheen.
“‘World On Fire’ was written in late 2019 and at its core it’s about duality and how a phrase like ‘set the world on fire’ which sounds so destructive, is also about doing something remarkable,” the members of The KVB explain. “We wanted it to be a phrase that is deliberately open to interpretation in this song.” They add, “Over time we have all become desensitised to bad news and horrific events through television and social media. In much the same way as people slow down to look at a car crash, it feels like we’ve all become more and more obsessed with watching the world on fire.”
The recently released hallucinogenic video by the duo’s Kat Day features a literal, spinning, digital Tower of Babel comprised of TVs. Eventually, we see the background burst into flames and other signs of the apocalypse.
Initially formed back in 2010 as a solo recording project of its founding member, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Wood, the British shoegazer act The KVB stated off with a number of limited cassette and vinyl releases that included “The Black Sun,” which was released through FLA Records and the Into the Night EP, which was released through Downwards Records. Vocalist, keyboardist and visual artist Kay Day joined Wood the following year, and the newly constituted duo released their full-length debut Always Then through Clan Destine Records.2013 was a busy year for the duo, as that year saw the release of their sophomore effort, Immaterial Visions, which was released through Cititrax that February. Wood and Day followed that up with a remix EP featuring contributions from Regis and Silent Servant that May — and a reissue of 2011’s limited edition cassette release Minus One through The Brian Jonestown Massacre‘s Anton Newcombe’s label, A Recordings.The following year, Wood and Day went to Newcombe’s Berlin studio to track what would eventually become the Out of Body EP, which A Records released later that year. Interestingly, those sessions marked a couple of firsts for the duo — the first time that they worked outside of their home studio and the first time that they worked with Joe Dilworth, a dummer known for his work with Stereolab and Cavern of Anti-Matter. The more experimental material they recorded the year, would up comprising 2015’s Mirror Being, which was released through Invada Records.
2016’s Of Desire found the duo’s sound moving in a more experimental, electronic-leaning direction, as they recorded with vintage synths from Invada Records head and Portishead and Beak> mastermind Geoff Barrow’s collection. Continuing at a busy pace, the duo’s Fixation/White Walls EP was release in 2017 and they released a re-masted, fifth anniversary edition of Always Then. Interestingly, last year’s Only Now Forever finds the duo returning to their DIY roots, with the duo recording in their Berlin apartment over the course of 2017. The album’s atmospheric, “Violet Noon” will further cement the duo’s reputation for pairing reverb-drenched shoegaze, 60s pop inspired boy-girl harmonies and minimalist electronic production — but within a swooning and achingly hazy dream-like song. “Influenced by Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra, ‘Violet Noon’ is a dark love song set against the backdrop of the apocalypse. While the world falls apart, all you can think of is the person you want to spend those last moments with,” The KVB say of the song and its accompanying video. “We shot the video last October, on the last unseasonably warm day of the year on the Jurassic coast in Dorset on the south coast of England. For us, the dreaminess of the video perfectly reflects the otherworldliness of this song, it feels like a hazy memory, timeless and romantic.”The duo’s North American debut tour was originally scheduled earlier this year, and because of circumstances beyond their control, they were forced to reschedule, with the tour now happening during the fall. (All tickets purchased will be transferred to the new dates and any ticket refunds will be available from the point of purchase.)