Weekend Recall: VÉRITÉ
The rising indie singer-songwriter takes us along as she tours America ahead of her debut LP release
VÉRITÉ is one of those rare artists that manage to maintain a strong independent spirit as they move from obscurity to popularity. It's one thing to flaunt your indie cred when you don't have a choice but to do things that way; it's something else entirely to insist on constant experimentation and total creative control as you rise through the ranks past 100 million streams on Spotify. But VÉRITÉ has a long history of doing things her way, and on her new album and full-length debut Somewhere In Between, she doesn't give any ground – in fact she pushes further. “I threw myself into all these different and uncomfortable situations with people I’d never worked with, and said yes to new sounds and collaborations without worrying about how it would all come together,” she says.
VÉRITÉ has a long history to draw from as she considers her path forward. Her interest in music began at age 8 when she started singing and playing piano. At 13 she joined an all-girl punk band that covered the Breeders, and—several years later—co-founded a seven-piece alt-rock act complete with a full horn section. After moving to New York City at age 20 she began creating as VÉRITÉ, working hard to maintain her dream of making music as she clocked up to up to 70 hours a week at Applebee’s in Times Square, sometimes starting her shift at 6 a.m. and then heading straight from work to sound check.
Her debut as VÉRITÉ, the independently released and entirely self-promoted 2014 single “Heartbeat” quickly drew major buzz online. Record labels came knocking, but she chose to continue waitressing and fund the release of her debut EP Echo with her Applebee’s tips. “I decided that I didn’t want to answer to anybody or change anything to appease someone else,” she says. In 2015, the same year she released her sophomore EP Sentiment, Byrne quit her waitressing job to pursue music full-time just before heading out on her first-ever tour. Since then she has been busy--logging two North American headline tours, releasing a third EP, 2016’s Living, to high acclaim, appearing at major festivals like Lollapalooza and Firefly, and making her television debut on the TODAY Show.
We caught up with VÉRITÉ in the midst of a nationwide tour as she prepares to take her next step with the release of Somewhere In Between, and she took us through a week in her rapidly changing world:
Essentials for traveling across the country:
Nicole Mago: Be sure you bring someone who is willing to attempt to outrun a tornado warning with you.
Dodge Caravan: This minivan destroyed the drive.
Music: all premeditated and saved on Spotify, because you will lose service. More specifically, our understanding of Paramore’s greatest hits into their new record After Laughter (x15).
Podcasts: NPR’s Radiolab, How I Built This, and an array of serial killer narrations to keep things interesting.
Seen here: Gas station goats. Somewhere in Nevada.
Additional Things to Consider:
Fuck Google and Apple maps.
Salt and Vinegar Kettle chips are your friend to a point. They will turn on you and burn your mouth.
Coffee, however, will never let you down.
Don’t speed in Wyoming. You will get pulled over multiple times.
You cannot outrun a tornado warning. Weather doesn’t work like that.
Pre-order Somewhere In Between here
Photography by Nicole Mago
Written by Sid Feddema