It’s a rare and blessed thing to hear a band this new—and this self-consciously quirky—shoulder this much melancholy.
The Violettes throw the kitchen sink into this record; in fact, if they’d had a kitchen sink in the studio, some dude would’ve been tapping a spoon on it. They’ve got flute, tabla, strings and keyboards—enough instruments to fill a full-time pack rat’s basement and then some.
The band sways between fairly traditional shoegazer crunch (think late-period Lush), lounge-y atmosphere and ominous Asian-flavored funk, but its got the sting, ladies and gentlemen, the sting of a first love gone rotten. The lyrics are, appropriately, so naïve, it’s easy to imagine them scribbled on looseleaf and stashed in a high school locker. Junior high, maybe. “Heavenly White Roses” offers commitment-free affection (“I won’t use these words to haunt you”), then “Full Spectrum” spins on a cast-off promise ring and threatens pre-emptive vengeance (“If you ever thought that life’s a game / No one can play it just the same… I can show you how I feel.”)
“1-2-3 Go!” slides in a slice of Francophilic pop that, on any other record, would’ve been fun. Here, it’s bitterly, deliciously ironic. The sting doesn’t fade. Not one bit.
The Violettes’ album is available at the band’s website.