The Veils is apparently the vanity project of a young Finn Andrews, whose vocals are clearly the selling point of this otherwise plain-vanilla Brit-Pop exercise. He sings with some not entirely misguided confidence in his pipes, sounding like the hideous love child of Thom Yorke and Janis Joplin who spends entirely too much time with that ne’er-do-well Julian Casablancas.
His songwriting is somewhat less distinctively pedigreed, falling into a lyrical and melodic style that could best be described as “MadLibs: Pained Indie Heartthrob Edition.” He doesn’t have the character to back up the practiced grit of his exquisite voice. On “The Valleys of New Orleans,” he attempts some kind of “How I Made My Millions” hushed piano-croon, but like on the other contemplative tunes on “The Runaway Found,” it just sounds he’s too lazy to open his mouth all the way while singing. One repeatedly gets the feeling that Andrews is singing to his own reflection in some crystal pool somewhere, waiting to have a flower named after him.
The best track is “More Heat Than Light,” which initially distinguishes itself from the surrounding songs by its decidedly more sinister, rocking tone. More significantly, however, it casts Andrews in a role entirely more suited to his vocal abilities than the “indie soul-searcher” mode he chooses to operate in, that of the Bowie/Smashing Pumpkins glam rock growler. In short, if you are going to manufacture pop, at least make the most of what tools you have at your disposal.