TEETHING VEILS »

 Photo by David Nicholas

 

Teething Veils is a band carried out by songwriter/guitarist Greg Svitil with violist Hannah Burris and cellist Alexia Kauffman. 

The band began in 2006, with Greg making songs on his own in a beige-carpeted second-story bedroom along Florida Avenue in Washington, DC. Its first live show was on November 25, 2006 at the Montgomery College Planetarium, and featured a star show orchestrated by Dr. Harold Alden Williams as well as music from Chicago’s doom-folk troupe Unlucky Atlas.  Following an impromptu performance in Dayton, Ohio, shows took place in such venues as Artomatic; WMUC’s Third Rail Radio; Radio CPR; and 611 Florida, at the storied house’s final show before its denizens quit the premises and the landlady installed new floors.  

From December 24, 2011 through July 28, 2012, Teething Veils recorded Velorio, its debut double LP, for Etxe Records and Productions.  Released on July 10, 2013, the bulk of Velorio’s 21 songs were recorded by a core band of long-time and first-time collaborators: Krys Baker (accordion, clarinet, flute, french horn, saxophone), Kevin Buckholdt (organ), Hannah Burris (viola), Christin Durham (voice), Craig Garrett (bass guitar), Nathan Jurgenson (drums and percussion), Alexia Kauffman (cello), and Greg Svitil (bass guitar, glockenspiel, guitar, melodica, organ, piano, voice), with additional contributions from Arthur Harrison (theremin), Christopher Goett (guitar), Jilly Hex (voice & lyrics), and The Veilettes- Hannah Burris, Christin Durham, Catherine Lewis (voices). Velorio’s melancholic tone was crafted through bittersweet 60s-inspired pop, off-kilter accordion waltzes, funeral organ dirges, extreme metal excursions, care-bones acoustic ruminations, and lush orchestral elaborations alike.  

In January 2013, Teething Veils recorded Constellations, its second LP for Etxe. Released on November 11, 2014, Constellations is comprised of two 25-minute songs that mirror one another. Greg made these recordings with Nathan (drums) and former Alcian Blue, Space Tigers, and Torsion Fields member Sam Chintha (guitar), who also played drums and guitar as a touring and recording member of Greg’s former band The Antiques. Constellations maintains Velorio’s intensity while expanding on its musical palette. The title song reflects on a cold domestic space through an ambient metallic composition guided through multiple shifts in key and mood by carefully composed drums and largely improvised guitars. The album’s B-side echoes its companion piece, presenting an arrangement culled entirely from the A-side’s reel of tape played backwards and mixed to highlight other facets of the original piece.

In the summer of 2013, the band carried out a 17-date national tour, traversing 8,600 miles of the southern U.S., the west coast, and the midwest. Live performances through the second half of 2013 ran the gamut of arrangements, from the six-piece band that recorded the bulk of Velorio all the way back to the barren solo acoustic performances reminiscent of Teething Veils’ past. 2014 has seen the group evolve into a lush cello, viola, and acoustic guitar trio.

A seven-piece Teething Veils band is presently rehearsing new songs for recording in 2015.

Teething Veils continues to make songs, a stone’s throw away from where it was born.