(Read our interview with the band from last spring by clicking here.)
The first single “Totally True” from this second album was released last week, have a listen to it HERE along with a couple of other soaring highlights from the album.
True finds the Brooklyn three-piece further amplifying their innovative songwriting with a palette of exquisitely crafted sound. The band’s music expertly blends percussive guitar work and silky harmonies, seeking the silver lining yet to be discovered between the sounds we know and love. With a wash of 90s sonic pop drawn from artists like Cocteau Twins and McCarthy and sitting pretty alongside contemporaries such as Deerhunter and Wild Nothing, Violens paint soft watercolor notes across their compositions, adding crucial emotional depth via layered vocal harmonies.
Violens was formed in 2007 by Jorge Elbrecht (a producer, multi-instrumentalist, and founding member of the art company Lansing-Dreiden). Their debut album Amoral was self-recorded, self-produced, and is best understood as digital collage; a dark, guitar and synth-pop voyage of melodic and rhythmic collision.
True shifts course towards a more subtle and desaturated sonic landscape. The aforementioned first single, “Totally True,” demonstrates this with its stone-washed, semi-improvised feel, celebrating bands like The Chameleons and Martin Newell’s Cleaners From Venus. As the writing process for this second album began while traveling together on tour, it also showcases Violens as a more collaborative effort. Band members Iddo Arad (backing vocals, synths, guitar) and Myles Matheny(backing vocals bass, guitar) had a much larger influence on the songwriting and the album’s sonic direction. Framed by Will Berman’s distinctive drumming, True shows the band interacting and reflecting in ways both promising and exciting.
Throughout 2011 Violens kept up a virtual songwriting diary on their website, posting musical sketches as part of a continuous dialogue with their fans. In keeping with this practice, Violens will be premiering a song from True each month leading up to the release of their LP. The first offering was “Unfolding Black Wings” (the band’s aural approximation of a Goya etching), a nod to “Daydream Nation”-era Sonic Youth. While the song’s lyrics reflect upon a sort of unimaginable winged beast, the music conveys its attack with a forward-marching rhythm as unorthodox guitar tunings provide manic chord changes and blistering single-note melodies. The second track to be given away was “Der Microarc,” that, according to Spin, “emulsifies Zombies-esque harmonies into percussion-heavy jangle reminiscent of Primal Scream.”
Then there’s “When To Let Go,” a classic mélange of guitar pop (not unlike “Sonic Flower Groove”-era Primal Scream) and 60s harmony groups (Zombies, Beach Boys, The Millennium). The song “Watch The Streams” features 60s ghost organs and a Brill Building pop beat that coalesces with stacked vocal harmonies. “All Night Low” is a driving, fast-paced song with acid-drenched squalls of buzzing guitar and discord.
Violens condemns the very age we live in by singing it – twisting and mutating it – mutilating it, wearing its skin. Their music is forged of the third eye and of the fourth dimension, part architecture and part air, yet they are wholly rock: chiseled digital marble. There is real tangibility here: this is a group whose members are working together towards a common musical goal. More than merely being a series of ethereal ideas and great guitar sounds, on True, Violens tie everything together with creative arrangements, original melodic ideas and passion.
Violens are embarking on a stretch of tour dates, with more upcoming dates in the works this summer. Their current run will take them through Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Baltimore, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles and more.
Spring & Summer Tour Dates
4/28 – Hamden, CT @ Outer Space w/Lower Dens
4/29 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott w/Lower Dens
5/03 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s w/Lower Dens
5/04 – Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel w/Lower Dens
5/05 – Baltimore, MD @Otto Bar w/ Lower Dens
5/16 – New York, NY @Le Poisson Rouge (Album Release Event)
5/31 – San Francisco, CA @ Cal Academy of Science
6/03 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo for Part Time Punks
6/14 – Toronto, ON @ Legendary Horseshoe Tavern (NXNE)