Conjuring forceful, evocative clouds of sound that drift over fields of insistent rhythm, Verma are a Chicago-based ensemble who've taken inspiration from classic prog rock, Krautrock, and psychedelic acts and fashioned a sound of their own that's by turns coolly languid and powerfully physical. Verma features Johnny Caluya on guitar and keyboards; Zach Corn on drums; Rob Goerke on bass; Whitney Johnson on vocals, keyboards, and viola; and TJ Tambellini on keyboards, guitar, and vocals.
The group first made a name for themselves in 2010, when they released a pair of cassettes that caught the ears of discerning listeners, Verma (issued by Plus Tapes) and Salted Earth (on Priority Male). A collection of improvised pieces, Verma II, was issued in the fall of 2011, and the group's first proper album, EXU, was self-released on vinyl and digitally in October 2012. The magazine and website Vice commissioned Verma to compose music for a documentary, The Vice Guide to the Congo, and two extended pieces from their score were issued in June 2013 on the album Coltan, which was released by the Chicago-based indie pop label Trouble in Mind. A 7" single called "Ragnaraak" also appeared that summer, on the HoZac label.
In May 2014, Verma and Trouble in Mind joined forces again to release their album Sunrunner; by this time, Tambellini's involvement with the group was limited by his relocation to California, but he remained committed to Verma and the Chicago music scene. The album was followed by the cosmically minded Mul.Apin, the group's third album for Trouble in Mind, in November of 2015. When not busy with Verma, Goerke and Tambellini perform in a side project called Wetlands (they also produce solo material), Johnson works with a band called E+ and has a solo project titled Matchess, Corn drums with Get Off the Cross the Wood Is Needed, and Caluya plays with Quarter Mile Thunder and Robbie Hamilton. ~ Mark Deming
- Chicago, IL