It might have been awful for so many reasons, but with a recent slate of stellar new music, there’s no denying that the pandemic-related lockdowns were damn good for creativity. Just ask Allan Vest and Barb Vest, the two halves that comprise doubleVee, who are today debuting their brand new full-length Treat Her Strangely.
Rather than go crazy or argue like an old married couple, the two invested their time wisely, fully indulging in the creative landscape of their minds to concoct a diverse set of songs, all offering something a little bit different in the way of influences and dynamics. All nine tracks were recorded and carefully honed while Barb and Allan were holed up in their home studio, keeping to themselves, trying to stay sane, while also having some fun and remaining productive.
Discussing the album, its recording process, its motivations, and its artwork, Barb and Allan tell us:
“Our new album was conceived and produced during the uncertain early days of the pandemic, as we sought the isolation and safety of our home studio, immersing ourselves in our music as we waited to see how long the world would be impacted by the virus. The album title, Treat Her Strangely, comes from our lyrics for the opening track and first single, ‘When Dawn Comes Tonight.’ It has a bit of an ’80s throwback feel to it, with jazz chords and slightly-askew synthesizers underscoring the tale of a modern woman and how she should be treated strangely, with reverence and magic.
“The album’s eight additional songs, all with different tones and approaches, explore a range of musical soundscapes, with multilayered instrumentations and harmonious vocals. Some of the songs touch on universal themes like the struggles of decision-making in precarious times and the repetition of questions and answers one might not want to hear. Listen for the fever dream of navigating relationships with people near and far while facing loss and regret, and all of the possibilities that come along with rebirth…starting over…the reawakening of self-discovery.
“When we ultimately pulled the trigger on making plans to self-release our third-born, we were very happy to collaborate for a third time with Salt Lake City-based artist Grant Fuhst on our album art. We feel so grateful for our album to be on the verge of release, knowing how long a journey it was to get to this point and how fortunate we are to create music during such turbulent times, in the hopes that our songs might catch some ears and warm a few hearts.”
Since the very beginning, Barb and Allan have aimed very high when it comes to doubleVee. Their 2017 debut album The Moonlit Fables of Jack The Rider was a concept album that followed the title character, with his tales told in a theatrical style. They followed that up in 2019 with the release of the Songs for Birds and Bats EP.
doubleVee formed a decade ago when it became apparent that Barb and Allan’s interests and experiences in music complemented one another. Allan previously acted as the lead singer and songwriter for pop band Starlight Mints, who released four albums between 2000 and 2009. Barb spent 16 years in public radio, with one of her primary achievements being writing, producing, and hosting the nationally syndicated film music program Filmscapes.
With Treat Her Strangely now here, Barb and Allan are optimistically looking into a future full of new music, and hopefully new tour dates as well.