In recent weeks we’ve featured a few guys that have gone down the solo route, and today we’re very excited to have our first female solo artist. Cheltenham-based Verity White, who originally comes from Brecon in Wales, has experience on the rock scene from providing backing vocals for long-running rockers Pendragon, but is now all set to go it alone with her own brand of powerful rock.
We had a chat with Verity this week and first up asked her to go into detail about what inspires her music. She told us: “I think there are influences from loads of different places but the key theme is definitely rock – which is like the loosest term ever I am aware! The vocal style and emotion that I hope is conveyed in my songs comes from the lyrics all being incredibly personal to me. I put every ounce I have into getting emotion into my performances, whether that’s anger, venerability or love, I hope it comes across.”
Verity previously released an EP Parentheses last year, which has been followed up with February’s singles release Too Much/Look Inside ahead of releasing new EP Stripped Bare next month. She told us: “It’s taken me a while to gain the confidence to actually put music out there. The two singles are definitely a progression from the EP, which always felt experimental as it was a toe in the water to see whether anyone would actually be interested.
“It did pretty well considering, but is less rock focused than the newer stuff and that’s definitely the direction I see myself going with the album. Having said that, there will also be influences from all styles of music in there, but particularly rock, electronica and folk. So with the two latest singles, you can expect rock riffs with intense female vocals – I’ve been compared to Stevie Nicks and Chrissy Hynde vocally, so I’ll take that!”
Verity’s musical influences draw heavily on the likes of classic acts like Fleetwood Mac and Aretha Franklin, but also modern masters like Nine Inch Nails, which tells you her musical tastes are pretty varied.
Too Much begins with a lone guitar riff that’s soon joined by a rocky drum beat, then a mini drum roll brings Verity’s deliciously rocky vocals into the mix. A brooding verse soon gives way to a big, powerful rock chorus then drops down into the original opening guitar riff with a little keyboard accompaniment. There’s a huge contrast between the delicate verses and big choruses, then the track drops down with a tambourine and mini guitar licks supporting the vocals as it gradually builds towards a final chorus.
Look Inside begins with a quiet funky little riff that picks up when Verity’s vocals join in. The chorus is a bit more singalong than the previous track with drawn-out vocals that definitely evoke the thoughts of Nicks and Hynde in their style. The track drops down and Verity comes in with some impressive high-pitched vocals that ease into an outro of layered vocals and lighter guitars.
On what influences her music, Verity tells us: “I’ve had a lot of weird things go on in my life and tend to be able to patch into them to help me with the lyric writing. I’ve been writing music since I was only 12, it wasn’t great but some of the lyrics and melodies I’m actually still pretty proud of!
“I’m now working with amazing producer Alex at Arpeggio Creative, and he helps put the bones of a song together for me (he is a 300% better instrumentalist than me!) and I then then write the melody and lyrics on top of that. So I guess I get a base mood from what he sends over and then dig into my experiences to find something that fits. Writing from the heart is always the easiest for me and it means I can put all my emotion into that song as well, so it’s also pretty cathartic!
We also asked Verity about singing with the Gloucestershire-based progressive rockers Pendragon. She said: “Last year they asked me to replace one of their backing vocalists who couldn’t make their European tour, as Nick (Barrett, writer and vocalist) had seen me in one of Clive’s (Nolan, keyboards) musicals! It was amazing as you can imagine and that’s what really spurred me on to release my music. I’m lucky enough to also be on their live DVD and CD that’s just come out too. It seems that they like me as they’ve kept me around and I’m going to be featured on their new album and on their upcoming gigs for the foreseeable future too which is amazing!”
The Stripped Bare EP is out next month and Verity will be holding a semi-acoustic release party on 19 May, which will be streamed live on Concert Window, and she’ll be releasing an as yet untitled rock album in the summer. She’ll also be off on tour with Pendragon again later in the year, as well as a couple of support slots on tours with her solo music. And on top of all that she’s going to be the lead in a new musical by Clive Nolan. So she’s a busy lady, and we can’t wait to hear more!