Premiere: Velvet Starlings, ‘Kids in Droves’

Velvet Starlings
Velvet Starlings

Sixteen-year-old Christian Gisborne was born long after the British Invasion, but it’s clear he’s a prisoner, and a happy one at that. His rock project Velvet Starlings crackles and pops with the blues-based sound of what became known as classic rock. Topically, though, he writes songs about issues that resonate with his contemporaries.

So it is with the new single “Kids in Droves,” Velvet Starlings’ first new music since last November’s release of their seven-song, self-titled EP. Riding a slippery organ and thorny guitar, the song slides into the existential chasm between our real and virtual lives — the latter of which, of course, is treacherous territory. “Every once in a while / we can smile / pretend to love everything / love everyone,” Gisborne sings. The tradeoff?

“In exchange we lose our privacy,” he explains. “In social media world, what we ‘like’ and ‘love’ allows corporate greed to exploit and control our behavior, minds, hearts and time, distracting and disempowering us with useless information and fake news.”

The song is the first from Velvet Starlings’ forthcoming mini-album “Love Everything, Love Everyone,” coming later this year. The young singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist collaborated with his father, Roger (of the 1990s Brit-rock band Plastiscene) on the production and writing of the music. The new mini-album was made with engineer/mixer Josiah Mazzaschi in five days, with the young Gisborne playing all the instruments, except drums, which were handled by Mazzaschi.

The new single, just being released in the U.S., is already getting spins on the BBC. And even though it’s not the intended audience, “Kids in Droves” could spin its way into classic rockers’ hearts.

||| Stream: “Kids in Droves”

||| Also: Watch the video for “Sold Down the River” from the debut EP

||| Live: Velvet Starlings play Final Fridays at the Rose Bowl on June 28. Info.

||| Previously: Ears Wide Open