Washington Musician: Versing

Versing photo by Conner Lyons
Versing photo by Conner Lyons

Seattle’s Versing doesn’t mind being compared to other bands

written by Ben Salmon

Seattle’s Versing excels at making music that’s both sweet and sour. That was the goal from the beginning, said frontman and songwriter Daniel Salas.
“Originally, I wanted us to [play] poppy songs with feedback all over the place,” he said, citing noisy rock bands like Henry’s Dress and The Clean, and influential indie labels such as Slumberland and Flying Nun. “I tried to keep us a three-piece for that reason. It lends itself to the simplified, scuzzy sound that those bands had.”

Versing is a four-piece now, but its sound is still equal parts sugar and squall. The band’s 2017 album Nirvana spills over with Salas’ catchy melodies, but also smears them with a persistent layer of feedback and fuzz. The result: songs that are wiry but warm in a way that recalls ’90s indie icons Pavement.

In fact, Versing gets compared to Pavement constantly. Salas and his band mates are OK with that.

“Those are the bands I love. I think we’re settling more into our own sound, but I’ve always seen us as a continuation of what those bands were doing rather than a rehash or a ripoff,” he said. “I personally think rock music was really incredible in the ’80s and ’90s but got really, really bad in the 2000s, so I just try to take up the mantle of the bands that I felt were doing it right.”

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