That soaring melodic tension between guitar and vocal, its bass lines tinged with longing, and a driving yet thoughtful rhythm section make Vertigo one of those rare bands whose offerings of gritty beauty and haunting intensity escape the trap of cliché and affectation. The four-piece band out of Knoxville, Tennessee, marries alt/pop lyricism and well-grounded composition with yearning themes and experimental musicianship, connecting with audiences in electric, deeply personal live performances.
Band visionaries Joel (guitar) and Justin (drums) started playing together in 2001, and before long were joined by Justin's sister, Lindsey (vocals), and more recently Nate (bass). The throughline of the dark pop/rock quartet's gorgeously multilayered sound is Lindsey's confident emotive phrasing and solid vocal work. Her clear-voiced passion pushes every lyric for meaning, whether that exploration takes the form of a smooth whisper, growling vibrato, or cry of triumph and anguish.
Vertigo has been described as "darkly sexual," perhaps because it trades in desire, risk-taking, and unblinking confession, or maybe because of the thrilling sensuality at its core. Voice and instrumentation give a respectful nod to the late-punk CBGB romantics of the 1980s as well as to grungier 1990s realism, but these are merely a springboard for Vertigo's velvet mysticism, "sharp eyes, and keen writing," which propel us solidly through this decade and into the next. Embracing the metaphysical might put Vertigo at odds with the machinery of modern music-making, but the brooding honesty finds a home in the hearts of thousands of fans, whose attendance at several hundred performances has testified to the band's lasting impact and power.
The band's first CD 'And Miles to Go Before We Sleep', recorded at Lakeside Studios with Travis Wyrick, was released in 2005 and is widely available online. The eagerly awaited forthcoming album, titled 'The Coming and Going', was recorded at Fahrenheit Studios with Travis Kammeyer, and will be available in 2009. Vertigo regularly updates its MySpace page with concert dates and their latest, newest tracks.