Premiere: VEAUX Explore Love, Belonging, & Black Identity in “Tell Me That You Love Me”

Tell Me That You Love Me - VEAUX
Veaux’s impassioned new single “Tell Me That You Love Me” is a sweet and moving listen – one that doesn’t avoid, but rather leans into the intense, important subjects of Black identity, insecurity, belonging, inner strength, and self-worth.
Stream: “Tell Me That You Love Me” – VEAUX




With the country being divided in race, we felt like this was a good time for a band that is 2/3rds Black to use our voices to talk about the subject from a truly personal place.

A pulsing and catchy groove radiates throughout VEAUX’s latest single. Hot, heavy, light, and lilting all at the same time, it’s the kind of song you can close your eyes to and dance around the room, letting your cares melt away and your worries vanish into thin air. Indeed, Veaux’s impassioned “Tell Me That You Love Me” is a sweet and moving listen – one that doesn’t avoid, but rather leans into the intense, important subjects of Black identity, insecurity, belonging, inner strength, and self-worth.

So yes, dance around the room to your heart’s delight – but keep your ears open, and listen close.

Tell Me That You Love Me - VEAUX

Tell Me That You Love Me – VEAUX

Too black to be white
Too white to be black
You wanna tell me what else I lack
You wanna tell me what else I lack
Too left to be right
Too right to be left behind
I still pray to god at night
I still pray to god

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Tell Me That You Love Me,” VEAUX’s heavy-hitting sophomore single of 2020 (following late January’s release “You Won’t Say That.” The trio of Aaron Wagner, Andrew Black, and Dominic Wagner, VEAUX have been actively spreading their buoyant, tasteful indie pop energy around for the past two very busy years; the trio, formerly making indie rock music under the name Medic, revamped their image, style, and name when they moved from Colorado to Nashville, Tennessee a few years back (with half a decade’s worth of material under their belts, including two albums, we recommend giving Medic a listen as well).

It’s been a quick a steady run for the band since “re-“introducing VEAUX to the world; a slew of singles in ’18 and ’19 found the trio easing into a new sound that was less rock than their former outfit, but just as organic. The songs “If You Could Feel My Love” and “You Make My Heart Go” have garnered hard-earned, well-deserved attention – capturing the group’s smoky, intimate ethos with seductive textures that get stuck on repeat inside.

VEAUX © Sean Hagwell

VEAUX © Sean Hagwell

From a sonic standpoint, “Tell Me That You Love Me” follows in the footsteps of these propulsive tracks. Intoxicating in its own right, the song features big synthwaves and sultry vocals melting over a driving drum set. An earworm in its own right, it’s also one of the first times VEAUX have sung so directly (and in such an unabridged fashion) about race and racial identity. “Too black to be white, too white to be black, you wanna tell me what else I lack?!” sings frontman Aaron Wagner in the opening verse, his words rife with tension as he unveils deep wounds that speak not only to his experience, but to the experience of so many artists of color around the world.

Wagner continues to dwell in a series of societally-imposed conflicts as he challenges us to drop all pretense and preconceived notions. As he nears the chorus, the artist reigns himself in, speaking to a vulnerable core deep inside:

But He don’t look like He used to
No, She don’t look like She used to
So tell me that you love me
Tell me that I’m still yours
Tell me that you need me
Tell me that I’m your cure
You’re making me make believe
A double take to make sure
Tell me that you love
Tell me that you love
Tell me that you love
Tell me that you love me

Timely though it may be, “Tell Me That You Love Me” was written long before the murder of George Floyd sparked a worldwide revitalization of the Black Lives Matter civil rights movement. “I started writing this song a year ago about my personal experience being a liberal Black kid growing up in a conservative white town,” Aaron Wagner tells Atwood Magazine. “Although I had such a great childhood and many beautiful experiences, I did often feel like I didn’t belong. For as long as I can remember, I chased approval from teachers, pastors, coaches, friends and girls to such an unhealthy degree. I didn’t just need to be someone’s friend; I needed to be their best friend. I didn’t need someone to love me; I needed all of their love.”

Wagner continues. “Last year was a painful year, and I came to a place where I needed to reclaim my identity as a Black man, but also as a human. I allowed my differences to create insecurity in me for so long and I’m in a place in life where I want my differences to create strength in me. This song is very clearly stating my insecurities out in the open but in a way I hope people will identify.”

In other words, this is Wagner’s reclamation; it’s his embrace of the parts of him, inside and out, that make him who he is. We could go so far as to say this song is a celebration of self-identity; lustful and full of raw passion, it certainly feels uninhibited.

VEAUX © Sean Hagwell

VEAUX © Sean Hagwell

Furthermore, now seems like the perfect moment for VEAUX to be sharing this song and its message. “With the country being divided in race, we felt like this was a good time for a band that is 2/3rds Black to use our voices to talk about the subject from a truly personal place. Aaron and Dominick are black men, adopted and raised in a multicultural home that still had to endure the judgement of being black in a white town. With such a sensitive topic, our best hope is to be vulnerable and start being honest about our experiences.”

Speak up boy say something
Too loud better say nothing
You wanna tell me you got the facts but
We’re just screaming from back to back
Wind me up
Let me go
Do you see
I don’t know how to believe again
When the ground is shifting below

Conversations around identity and personal experience are never meant to be easy. Last week, Atwood Magazine premiered JRM’s debut single “America,” a stunning track that captures another Black perspective on life, history, and possibility in the United States. Songs like “America” and “Tell Me That You Love Me” are compelling, repeat-worthy listens, but what makes them each so special is that they inform listeners on a point of view that is not our own; they find their respective artists telling personal stories through the lens of a community that deserves justice and equality, and whose voice is ringing out stronger than ever in Summer 2020.



VEAUX © Sean Hagwell

VEAUX © Sean Hagwell

“Tell Me That You Love Me” doesn’t have any answers; it isn’t supposed to. Rather, VEAUX immerse us in a dazzling, dynamic world of stunning sounds and emotions, leaving us on our own just long enough to ponder our own self-worth and identity. Stream VEAUX’s new song exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and share it with your friends.

It don’t look like it used to
Nothing looks like it used to
Black and blue
Who am I
who are you
Tell you my secrets
Please tell me yours too
Black and blue
Who am I
who are you

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Stream: “Tell Me That You Love Me” – VEAUX



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Tell Me That You Love Me - VEAUX

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com