Covet

Art unlocks other worlds. It places us outside of ourselves and in realms beyond this mortal plane. For Covet, deftly virtuosic instrumentation and worldbuilding go hand-in-hand. The San Francisco, CA trio—Yvette Young [guitar, vocals], Brandon Dove [bass], and Jessica Burdeaux [drums]—invoke an immersive living and breathing sonic world pieced together by inventive guitar wizardry, nuanced arrangements, unpredictable rhythms, and dynamic vocals. Tones, melodies, and grooves summon characters as alive as any big screen hero or heroine. Following packed shows, tens of millions of streams, and widespread acclaim from Guitar World, Guitar, Music Radar, and many others, the band’s vision comes into focus on 2023’s, catharsis.

“We did a lot of risk-taking on this album,” states Yvette. “I try to follow what excites me without heeding anybody’s expectations. I’m leaning into melodies, tones, and textures and trying to use them to transport listeners. The whole concept is escaping into a fantasy realm where the songs depict different characters and their own worlds. Each song is like their theme song. It’s mostly instrumental, but when you close your eyes, I hope people will be transported into the character’s story. Music has always been escapism for me and a great source of therapy. My hope for this music is that it will take people somewhere and stir their imaginations, or at the very least, make them feel something.”

Covet has carefully architected this space since emerging in 2014. The group enchanted and enraptured audiences with the Currents EP [2015], effloresce [2018], and technicolor [2020]. The latter generated over 10 million-plus streams across “parachute,” “nero,” “good morning,” and “farewell.” Guitar World hailed technicolor as “10 dazzling shoegazey tracks,” while Guitar attested, “it’s remarkable just what an emotionally uplifting journey technicolor is for a largely instrumental record.”

During 2022, Yvette welcomed Brandon and Jessica to the fold and penned what would become catharsis. This time around, she experimented with a myriad of pedals, including Slowly Melting by Dirge, Hologram Microcosm, Boss DD3, Moreland Magnetics 707, and Zvex mastrotron fuzzes as well as a Roland JC-40 amp.

“I wanted to just continue to do something different than the last release,” she goes on. “I wanted to challenge myself to make a cohesive body of work that all relates to one universe and is sonically disparate at times, but that all ties into one story that flows from front-to-back.”

Covet introduce catharsis with the first single “firebird.” Yvette’s eloquent fretboard phrasing instantly transfixes through movements of chorus and delay as an unexpectedly danceable groove dissolves into an arresting guitar solo.

“It’s about embracing joy,” she states. “When my mom first emigrated to America, she balled out and got a red Pontiac Firebird. I hope it sounds like cruising down the highway with the wind blowing in your hair. It’s a stark contrast to the heavy, serious vibes of the first song the record. I really wanted to lean into the catchiness of a melody and see how I could push some rock-n-roll tropes until something almost becomes cheesy—but not quite yet. Hopefully, the lighthearted and silly nature of the video reflects that.”

Fuzz dominates on the opener “coronal.” Her vocoder-drenched vocals echo over a trudging groove before she sustains the shaky notes of a soaring solo.

“In a micro- and macro-sense, music, video games, and technology are vessels for escapism,” she muses. “There are a lot of problems in our world and, instead of focusing on fixing our societal issues and repairing our planet, there seems to be a trend of escapism where we try to use technology to build an alternate reality and a ‘better world’. It’s supposed to be a metaphor for kind of what the album is—an alternate reality for people to escape into for less than 30 minutes. In the last line of the song, you’re diving into the void, and enter fantasy soundscape universe.”

The finale “lovespell” juxtaposes her interdimensional fretwork with, for the first time on a Covet record, saxophone courtesy of Alex Rose [Minus The Bear].

“‘lovespell’ is the feeling I get when I write,” she reveals. “It’s the closest sensation to falling in love. Since this is a good vibe tune, we thought it would be fun to have saxophone too. We didn’t want to leave everyone on a negative note. I hope by the end of this song your heart feels like it is exploding with love.”

In the end, Covet might just lift you up too.

“I want this to be a journey for you,” she leaves off. “When you listen to this record, I just hope you feel something and maybe the music gets stuck in your head. Despite my obstacles in making this record happen, I’m glad I didn’t give up—even if things got really difficult. This music is a catharsis for me. It’s always going to remind me of a chapter in my life, and I’m proud of it but also really looking forward to this next one”

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