Greg Jacobs started the group weeping in fits and starts in the early ’90s, working with a revolving cast of musicians including Paula Kelley, Shawn Devlin (Helium), and Olivier Strauch (Instinct-era The Moles). In 1996 Ryan Veilleux answered an ad for a band looking for a “Motown meets My Bloody Valentine” kind of sound. While Ryan started out on bass, he soon was settling in on lead guitar, and the band started moving in a new direction. In 2000, after enlisting the solid beats of Michael Steigman, who they serendipitously met through a mutual friend who was a longtime fan of the band, the time for a name change was at hand, and Verona Downs was born. The band finally released its debut album, I Listen Thru All The Breaking Oceans in 2004, to wide critical acclaim. From the lush, dirge-y “Isn’t That The Way” to the shimmering boy-girl pop of “Blue Noon,” through the spacey yearning of “Feelers” and the lonely radiance of “Green Yellow Red,” then ending with the robust nine-minute epic “Slow Fly,” ILTATBO was a record that took listeners away and returned them nourished and altered. Shortly after the album and the departure of their former bassist/ backing vocalist, Lori Murphy, Verona Downs discovered ex-Permanent Vacation singer/songwriter from California, Meghan Barnes. The Verona men enlisted her on bass and back-up vocals, allowing the band to grow into a more fleshed-out and collaborative unit.
The Light Reaction EP -CDEP-