The indie-pop scene is buzzing about VÉRITÉ and her upcoming album, “Somewhere in Between,” out June 23rd. VÉRITÉ collaborated with producers at multiple studios in New York, London, and Los Angeles to experiment with her music. “Somewhere in Between” is a beautiful blend of raw lyrics and an alt-pop sound.
VÉRITÉ is the stage name for Kelsey Byrne, who worked her way into the music industry. She started singing at age 8 and also took up piano. She joined an all-girl punk band that covered the Breeders at age 13 and later co-founded a seven-piece alt-rock act with a full horn section. When she was 20 years old, she created VÉRITÉ and moved to New York City. She supported her music by working up to 70 hours a week at Applebee’s in Times Square until 2015 after she released her second EP “Sentiment.”
VÉRITÉ has completed two North American headline tours and has opened for Tove Lo and BØRNS, and appeared at major music festivals like Lollapalooza and Firefly. VÉRITÉ has over 95 million streams on Spotify, with 3 million already from her newest single “Phase Me Out.”
For an exclusive feature with The Untitled Magazine, VÉRITÉ shares her journals, photos, and an exclusive video from her recent road trip. Similar to her music, this road trip diary displays the love and intensive work that VÉRITÉ puts into her music. Get the inside story by VÉRITÉ below.
“This trip is 1/3 practical, 1/3 exploratory and 1/3 avoiding the inevitable post travel crash of exhaustion.” -VÉRITÉ
I won’t get into detail about how my gear didn’t get driven back to New York as planned. I can say, the night ended with me telling some dude to fuck himself in front of the Fonda in LA and my equipment taking two UberXLs to my friend’s apartment. Nicole Mago, my slightly drunk photographer sat on the floor and said she wasn’t ready to go home and would drive the gear home with me. She flew home at 6:30am. I texted her at noon to tell her I was flying her back for a road trip.
So we left.
Day 1: LA – SALT LAKE CITY
Traffic of Los Angeles into the desert. I had never been to Nevada before. In awe of all the badass sounding landmarks—Death Valley, Lake of Fire, etc. We stopped off at a giant thermometer, found all of the desolate landscapes, pet goats on the side of a gas station. 38 minutes outside of Las Vegas, someone commented on Instagram that I should stop in Vegas. I met him in the parking lot of a McDonald’s next to a casino called Circus Circus. I played $1 at a slot machine. We made it to Salt Lake by midnight.
Day 2: SALT LAKE CITY – DENVER
I woke up, ate banana pancakes and went to iHeartRadio to perform a few stripped back songs. A bottle of whiskey broke in the back of the van, leaving the van smelling less than ideal. We headed straight out of Utah through Wyoming. Wyoming, while beautiful is a very long drive. We stopped and got little fireworks (for free—since we didn’t hit card minimum of $10 he just gave us everything). We stopped off at a bunch of abandoned barns, stores, and houses off the sides of the road. We listened to serial killer podcasts and freaked ourselves out a little. We lit fireworks off the side of an abandoned tire factory.
I got pulled over twice. First time, I got a ticket. Second time, I got a warning (for going 4 mph over the speed limit) and he asked why our van smelled like booze. He had a puppy named Frosty whom I pet while he asked to google me to make sure my story was accurate. He blasted “Phase Me Out” while he wrote me a warning and we drove 5 mph under the speed limit for the rest of the night.
Day 3: DENVER – KANSAS CITY
We got breakfast outside at a place called Sunny’s. We started driving east on I-70 — there is one road to Kansas City. We stopped off in a random small town, Flagler, CO. It’s strange, but off the highway, these towns aren’t visible. We were curious and drove through the deserted business district, village through the park and back to the highway. Next stop was Colby, Kansas, the “Oasis of the Plains.” We hit up Starbucks, went to an antiques mall and a general store. We headed back on the highway. Kansas is usually a predictable, uneventful drive. An hour past Colby, we started seeing giant clouds and lightning. We kept driving despite the weather and thought we could outrun the storm. We then realized we were in a tornado warning zone and we were ten minutes from some insane golf ball hail. We tried to beat the storm because we’re stubborn, but failed outside a town called Randall and had to pull over. Once the worst of the storm passed, we hustled to our AirBnb.
Day 4: KANSAS CITY – CINCINNATI
This was a day for human interaction and driving. Kansas City has this laid back vibe with this underlying frenetic energy, perhaps due to the seemingly constant tornado watches. We met fans for breakfast at a breakfast spot in Kansas City called Eggtc. We drove by 96.5 FM The Buzz for a quick performance and on air interview. I hit up fans in St. Louis and played them songs off the album at a Starbucks off I-70. Beyond that, we blasted the “Run the Jewels 2” album to stay awake. We got 5 hours of sleep that night.
Day 5: CINCINNATI – PITTSBURGH
Waking up was terrible. We dragged ourselves out of bed. We were running ten minutes late to meet a fan for coffee at a church downtown. We hung out for a bit, then got on the road to Pittsburgh. We tried to hit up an arcade in Columbus which was closed. The day felt heavy and sleepy, so naturally we hit up a trampoline park outside of Pittsburgh. We jumped to the nostalgic emo kid sounds of Good Charlotte and Paramore they had over the speakers. We spent an hour in the laser race (trying on our James Bond-esque stealth) and attempted the Ninja Warrior course. We then headed into Pittsburgh, where my absolute favorite vintage shop, Highway Robbery is. We got some sick shit (as always—seriously they are the best) and got to Starbucks on the south side half hour late due to parking being impossible. We met up with fans at another Starbucks (the ultimate known entity), got milkshakes, then headed to a shit hotel that reeked of cigarette smoke.
Day 6: PITTSBURGH – NEW YORK CITY
Midnight the night before, Nicole and I decided to go zip lining. We reserved our slots and planned the day around arriving at Refreshing Mountain by 3 pm. I never stop in the middle of Pennsylvania, but we pulled off a random exit to find this antique market that wound up being closed. Instead, we found a massive lake and Ron’s Antique Radio Museum, a shed in this dudes front yard full of restored antique radios. They were amazing, as was Ron, who was beyond excited to give us stories on all of the radios. We then hustled to zip line, where I remembered how much I love adrenaline. I got to run around an aerial obstacle course and jump, no hands off a platform in the woods. Honestly, by the end of this, Nicole and I were dead and insanely tired. We made it to my apartment, dropped off the gear, tried to get the whiskey smell out of the minivan, and met fans in McCarren Park to play the album.
Currently, I can be found in a bed somewhere in Brooklyn sleeping this experience off.