Vellichor /// The Trusted

Sometimes, the listener may have to crack a code to understand what an artist is trying to say. UK-based indie rock band, The Trusted, have taken that a step further with their latest single, “Vellichor.” The obscurity of the term, vellichor, leads the listener to ponder its meaning and where it came from.


Melodically, “Vellichor” opens with a cluttered intro chock full of spacey, ambient synth and zaps reminiscent of vintage arcade games. However, the pulse of this song is elevated with the arrival of sharper guitar riffs to give it a rockin’ edge. This driving beat plays nicely with lead singer Tom Cunningham’s smooth tone. Throughout this track, the melody evolves into a blend of rock and electronic beats to form a serene sound.

At the beginning of each chorus, Cunningham exclaims “You came here for the vellichor!” Initially, the introduction of this term sticks in your brain. This word drops out of the blue with no point of reference. 

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows defines vellichor as “the strange wistfulness of used bookstores.” It goes on to say that the bookstores are “somehow infused with the passage of time—filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read.” Perhaps, one of these is a clue to what The Trusted means by vellichor?

In addition to solving a lyrical puzzle, there are cleverly poetic, non-sequiturs on this track. “Terrible choirs, they put out the fires…emotional alarms you need to disarm,” are some of the gems recited by Cunningham. 

By the end of “Vellichor,” this song turns quizzical. In particular, the question of “Why did you come here?” The last rendition of the chorus unfolds, leading into its final answer: “I want to feel that love I felt before.”

At last, the mystery of the word “vellichor” has been solved. Cunningham’s last line sums up what The Trusted are getting at this whole time. He cannot help but look back and wonder how he can get back to that bygone feeling. In context to vellichor, used bookstores are a repository of what has already been written. However, Cunningham is seeking a sequel that has yet to be written. 

Written by Travis Boyer

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