Shape-shifting rhythms and melodic guitar lines with intimate, heartfelt vocals: DERDE VERDE are named after Val Verde, a rural valley town of coyotes, rolling hills, and big sky, an hour north of Los Angeles. Their music moves effortlessly from the textured energy of krautrock and the layered intensity of shoegaze, to the introspective intimacy of an acoustic living room performance. The band evolved out of the songwriting partnership between singer/guitarist Dylan McKenzie and bassist Jonathan Schwarz. Their love of earnest songwriters ranging from Neil Young and Nick Drake, to Elliott Smith and Mark Kozelek, as well as the musical interplay and studio experimentation by artists from Kraftwerk to My Bloody Valentine, led the band to craft a style of their own that combined sincere lyrical reflections delivered with a soft vulnerability over intricate instrumental arrangements that swim in atmospheric spontaneity and rhythmic undercurrent. Derde Verde often draw lyrical inspiration from poets like Mary Oliver, or Walt Whitman, and the songs evoke a rich landscape that explores questions of natural, human, and subconscious experience, infused with the textured and stream of consciousness art-rock arrangements crafted by the five-piece.
Derde Verde’s latest release ‘Meander Belt’ EP (Kursaal) was written and developed after the band toured the US and Europe in support of 2013’s ‘Let Me Be a Light.’ The songs were recorded and self-produced throughout 2017 in a warehouse space above a flower shop in Downtown LA. The new record is a collection of songs that draws on themes of loss, fear, love, longing, and transformation. The title, ‘Meander Belt,’ refers to the movement of a river stream, as it shifts its channel from time to time, or in times of flood. Dylan McKenzie, singer and guitarist of Derde Verde, explains: “We are interested in this as a metaphor for the landscape of the self, something that seems constant and permanent, but is also never the same: flowing and changing, contradicting itself, twisting and transforming.” The songs of the EP were initially released in a series of singles, before the band teamed up with German indie-label, Kursaal, to release the EP on CD and digital formats.
Derde Verde's 'Meander Belt' EP was released December 8th on CD, Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes, and Bandcamp via Kursaal (Germany).
Derde Verde: Dylan McKenzie (Lead Vocals / Guitar), Jonathan Schwarz ( Vocals / Bass), Andrew Lessman (Drums), Evan Montgomery (Guitar), Evan Taylor (Percussion, Keyboard, Vocals)
Steven Van Betten (Fell Runner)
Steven Kai van Betten is a Guitarist/Composer/Improviser, who is actively involved in the Los Angeles creative music scene. He performs and records regularly with groups Fell Runner, Kidi Band, SK Kakraba Band, and Desert Magic, among others. Multi disciplinary projects include collaborations with dance, film, animators, and theatre. In addition to his creative work, Steven works a music teacher at the Rhodes School of Music and as the Co-Founder and Producer of the Annual Blue Diamond Music Festival - Jam at the Barn.