Campus Circle
"Groovy Side"

June, 1996

Velvet Chain is a sumptuous treat. Erika Amato lends her soulful voice to groovin' acid-jazz melodies in this delicious album. It's easy to describe this music in terms of food. Listening to it is like eating really rich chocolate. It makes my mouth water.

This is for fans of such diverse music as New Wave-ish bands like Sleeper, as well as Annie Lennox and Natalie Merchant and classic musicians like Peter Gabriel and Harry Connick, Jr. There is even sometimes a trip-hop feel reminiscent of artists like Portishead (as on the last track "Come To Me").

The album starts out with the title track, a jazzy number, which features a rockin' scat section by Amato. This is a wild train ride on a crooked track that leads into "Time and Days," a more straightforward rock song. This one sounds like the classic groups: Fleetwood Mac and Heart, except with an added shot of soul to greatly improve the music. In "All Your Cash," Amato lulls you into submission with her enticing vocals so that you can believe that someone would indeed give her all his cash easily. In fact, you should take your cash and go buy this album.

--Katie Glick


Music Connection
April 1996

Velvet Chain has been making quite a splash around town, selling over 1,500 demo tapes in the last year. They've received airplay on Triple-A station KSCA, and have been heard as far away as Hanover, PA's WYCR radio station.

Why the buzz? Well, one reason is vocalist Erika Amato, the Chain's sultry chanteuse, whose menage-a-moi vocals bring the listener to the same smoky Euro-cabaret vibe occupied by bands like Portishead, Massive Attack and Goldie. Amato cites singers like Annie Lennox and Tori Amos as vocal inspirations, while also noting early Roxy Music as musical influences.

The group has two videos in addition to their CD and gig around town on a regular basis.

--Tom Farrell


Album Network "Groovy Side"
May, 1996

What You Should Know: Fronted by the lovely and talented Erika Amato, Velvet Chain have been methodically building a solid fan base in Los Angeles over the past 18 months. In fact, whenever they play, it creates a downright sensation! And after a couple of listens to Groovy Side, you'll understand why.

Sounds Like: Although you'll fing elements of bands like Mazzy Star and Portishead in Velvet Chain's sound, the main thrust of the band is more in the direction of sophistaicated rock like Natalie Merchant and Annie Lennox. However you wish to describe it, it's intoxicating and captivating.

Suggested Songs: "Time and Days"; "All Your Cash"; and the title track.

--John Schoenberger

Site maintained by Los Angeles Music Access