Violet Night – I Hope You’re Well – EP Review
Wait a minute here…northern British Columbia? Like…as in our own backyard? NICE. It’s even better when you find a band from your area and they make absolutely stellar music – and that’s exactly what we have here with the indie/electro/folk band Violet Night. I’m not even sure I’ve been to Little Prairie, where they’re based out of…but if this is what they sound like I’m already telling you they can’t be THAT far away and I want to go to there. It sounds like they combined Dashboard Confessional, or The Postal Service with the execution of Styrofoam’s melancholy electro-pop, and poof – Violet Night existed!
However it is you hear what TJ Rounthwaite and Connor Pohl are up to, whatever it is you think they sound like…it’s all good with me – I just fully encourage you to take a listen to these two in action on the I Hope You’re Well EP. A full blend of beautiful sounds, stunning execution and harmonious performances – this duo is welcome to make the trip down the mountain to the studio here in Abbotsford anytime – I’d love to talk to people that make music like this. To see them in pictures…you can see these two might have been considered the long-shots at one point…but these same two that might have been passed over long ago are going to find an overall victory in this life beyond their own wildest dreams if they continue on making music at this quality. To hear emotion this sincere in a two-piece is actually quite rare…to me it represents a real bond between to people that can never be broken. If you put your ear to this record just right…you can hear the all-or-nothing way they put themselves into their music – but from any angle at all, you can hear the exact magic in the music that goes on to make parts of our very lives amazing and completely unforgettable.
Don’t get me wrong…in an odd-way Owl City would be something I’d listen to on a regular basis. “Wait” starts out with a similar electro-pop pulsing sweetly as the vocals come out low-as-he-goes overtop in the verse. You can hear he’s just getting there…but that’s what matters…it’s right at the bottom of his register but he nails the tone on this one perfectly. It’s like what I’d imagine Adam Young’s music would sound like once his nuts finally drop…or at least more similar to the moments where he takes his music seriously and isn’t pandering to the club-scene. The chorus becomes an audible force to be reckoned with and right away instantly stakes a claim inside your memory…you can already hear there’s something special here…big time.
“Dawn” is full of incredible words delivered perfectly from both the lead and the backing vocals. Excellent piano-line & sparkling melody that’s been dulled against the low end in an audibly fantastic way; the chorus of “Dawn” goes on to be one of the most powerful and uplifting on the album. Despite the sad-sentiment in the lyricism, the delivery in this song is empowering – you absolutely get chills ripping up and down your spine if you’re listening closely to the words & music on this one. Similar forlorn vibe as something A Great Big World has fashioned an entire career around.
After the combinations they’ve discovered in “Wait” and “Dawn” have come out so spectacular, you start to sense that these two can do no wrong when making music together. The following cut, “Comedown,” might be the least-perfect technically-speaking…there are a few rough-edges but in truth, I think this song sounds like what we might expect from Violet Night as their more typical sound. I think that ‘roughness’ if you will, comes from a comfort these two are able to tap into…to experience…to let themselves free of the judgement of others and just sing. The result is a track like “Comedown” that really shines a light on the humanity between them. The guitar tones bend into the song perfectly, the harmonies drip audio-gold and it’s another extremely well-written song. I wouldn’t smooth those edges even if someone had told me that was the right call to make…cause they’d be wrong; “Comedown” is its own brand of sweetly mixed, brooding emotion.
Carrying that sentiment & vibe on into their title-track, “I Hope You’re Well” is about as much emotion as you can jam into a song. Raw & real like Ben Folds or Dashboard Confessional…this song is one lyrical open-wound I almost wished would never close. The piano melody is the most powerful you’ve heard yet as the record comes to a close, Violet Night have found their own “Transatlanticism” in “I Hope You’re Well.” Great drumbeat that really leads this song around the piano and outstanding vocals…as this song nears the third minute, dude is just KILLING it, and in turn killing us through the amount of pure bleeding-emotion on this song; a moment so incredibly visible and realized through song you can’t possibly not feel it. As it echoes quietly into a solemn piano ending…I’m kinda speechless really…the studio became so captivatingly absent of emotion & sound the moment it was over. I did repeat it, of course…you already know I would…but not instantly…
…nope. After “I Hope You’re Well” finished and the EP was done, I just sat and thought about LIFE for a moment or two. Everything I just heard from Violet Night was a true EXPERIENCE in music…one that I’ll never forget…it deserved a moment or two to just take it all in, even before repeating this awesomeness all over again.
I’m a massive fan of this style and sound and I think that between TJ and Connor – they’ve got all the pieces they need to make incredible music and the true heart necessary to captivate the world with. To think that they’re from RIGHT HERE in BC! Gentlemen – I’ll keep a couple of seats open for you here and the amps warm for whenever you want to bring your magic to the lower mainland; and truly – THANK YOU for an incredible, real, honest & sincere set of songs – I Hope You’re Well is freakin’ fantastic.
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