Veronica Bianqui At The Echo, Thursday January 18th 2018
There is a rare sweetness and cuteness in what Veronica Bianqui does, and I don’t feel guilty about using such stereotypes to describe a woman, because she and her friend Lauren Ruth Ward represent a new generation of girl power in the LA music scene.
Veronica was opening for The Soft White Sixties at the Echo on Thursday, a night presented by Spaceland and KROQ Locals Only, and attended by numerous musicians, such as Lauren Ruth Ward, who was in the audience to support her friend, while her Monday residency at the Echo continues this entire month.
Veronica was wearing a glittering silver lamé dress and everything seemed to shine, while her voice was fiercely soaring above the music. Her dynamic style borrows a bit to the sixties, but she is not an easy one to pigeonhole, her upbeat music is buoyant and splashes all over the place, with backup singers, horn and sax in the background, add texture to her kaleidoscopic blend of emotive vintage-R&B-pop.
It looks like Veronica Bianqui wants to see the world with bright guitar chords, surrounded by familiar faces, and a good example of this would be her power pop song ‘Victim’, whose video precisely features Lauren Ruth Ward in a guest appearance. However, if the music sounds as sunny and promising as a summer walk on the beach, the song starts with the lines, ‘I’ve had enough of playing victim/It’s kinda tough, but I’m ready for big changes’, and you have to know that she dedicated the song to her sister, Marlene, who died late last year after losing her battle with opiate addiction. It’s bright pop with a dark side, but none of this darkness was really surfacing on her smiling face, on Thursday night.
After the stripped-down jazzy horn solo of ‘Sunday Cups’, the almost funky texture of ‘I Do Much Better’ exploded into a soaring chorus, while ‘If Love’s a Gun, I’m Better Off Dead’ (with the delicious lines, ‘If love’s a gun, you’re my trigger, bang/If love’s a gun, I’m better off dead’) and ‘Don’t Love Me Blue’ embraced a retro ’60s girl-group style, with catchy grooves and plenty of vintage R&B horns.
Retro could be an adjective too tempting (and too easy) to use for describing Veronica Bianqui’s music, she even had a song about Paris – with an adorable video showing her wandering in the streets of the French capital – and it has been a long time since an American in Paris! But Veronica uses her charms and talent to bring a breath of fresh air on her brand of bright ’60s pop, even though the message behind the song can be much somber that it first sounds.