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Violet & The Undercurrents Waves [2014]

Violet & The Undercurrents — Waves [11 April 2014]

USA Flag   Violet & The Undercurrents — Waves 
•≥  Daughters of the Lilith Fair generation, the four musical mates sit at the loom together, weaving a garment with threads of artful folk, acoustic funk, straight-ahead rock and frisky jazz. The group might well be called gypsy-rockers.                                                                                                          Location: Columbia, Missouri
Album release: 11 April 2014
Record Label: The Nation Of Love
Duration:     36:53
01. Waves      (3:43)
02. Scandal      (5:02)
03. Waves      (3:42)
04. Cold Shoulder      (3:50)
05. Move Me      (3:24)
06. Set Me Free      (3:21)
07. Not Alone      (3:02)
08. Another Time      (3:22)
09. Anything You Want      (2:41)
10. When Love Dies      (4:46)
•≥  Four-piece, all-female band Violet and the Undercurrents have been described as “..Sophisticated folk-rockers ..” (Columbia Daily Tribune) The Columbia, Mo.-based power house of inventive and creative energy pulls influences from several genres of music and artists, such as The Local Natives, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Ani DiFranco, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, and St. Vincent. With such varied inspirations, it’s hard to peg their sound to one genre. From classically trained vocalist, Violet Vonder Haar, Phylshawn Johnson’s and Carly Allen’s years of jazz and indie rock involvement, to Suzuki cellist Caitlin Lukin, the girls bring a lot to the musical table.”
In french:
•≥   Un quatuor féminin aux influences multiples et une production variée, suffisamment sophistiquée, accrocheuse et atypique pour qu'on tende l'oreille avec un réel intérêt. (Merci à El Céher pour la découverte).
Website: http://violetvonderhaar.com
Bandcamp: http://violetvonderhaar.bandcamp.com/album/waves
Twitter: https://twitter.com/violetvhmusic
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/violetvonderhaar
Label: www.thenationoflove.com
Press: violetvonderhaar@gmail.com
Album Notes:
Review by Aarik Danielsen, Columbia Daily Tribune
•≥   “Prolific" is not always a term of musical endearment. Some artists wear it well, churning out music of surprising quantity and quality. Others, it seems, never learn to self-edit, spending and spreading thin their gifts on projects that are disparate, either in style or caliber.
•≥  Violet Vonder Haar is a storm-chaser in songwriter's clothes. The Mid-Missourian has followed her internal muse and metronome, fronting rock bands, acoustic trios and sculpting solo records. But for Vonder Haar, plenty need not be the enemy of beauty. •≥  The more music she makes — and the more she allows it to be shaped by her creative cohort — the better it seems to get.
•≥  That's evident on "Waves," the latest from her band, Violet and the Undercurrents. •≥  Drummer Phylshawn Johnson, cellist Caitlin Lukin and bassist Carly Allen all do their share of the heavy lifting, framing Vonder Haar's quirky, pretty melodies with fidelity and flexibility. Daughters of the Lilith Fair generation, the four musical mates sit at the loom together, weaving a garment with threads of artful folk, acoustic funk, straight-ahead rock and frisky jazz. The group might well be called gypsy-rockers — they rely here on wandering hearts and worldly wisdom.
•≥  The title track ushers the album into being with ambling acoustic guitars, warm strings and Johnson's sure, skilled stick work. Vonder Haar readies the listener for what's to come with her fearless verse and melody. Lovely, ethereal backing vocals set the song apart as does the way Lukin answers those vocal phrases with her cello, creating a propulsive call and response.
•≥  Next, "Cold Shoulder" features a nice high-low contrast with resonant cello and twinkling mallet percussion at opposite, but not opposing, ends. The arrangement leaves enough middle ground open for Vonder Haar to place her thoughtful melody. •≥  Elsewhere, "Not Alone" is a funky, slinky number that finds sense and sensibility losing the battle to sensuality.
•≥  "Another Time" is a smooth, driving piece of Midwestern folk-rock that finds Vonder Haar engaging in enchanting repetition, going over the last words of each phrase again as her bandmates dress the lines up with harmony. Swirling vocals, agile bass, creative drum fills and cat-scratched cello raise the temperature to a fever pitch as the song closes.
•≥  The sass-and-grass of "Anything You Want" is a nice change-up late in the set, while album closer "Scandal" gets much of its dynamic sense of motion from Allen's pulsing bass. The latter starts hot and gradually gets hotter, eventually boiling over with pounding piano and a pleading vocal coda that creatively bookends the record, though the passage is more desperate and less divine than what's heard on "Waves."
•≥  "Waves" is marked by a number of lyrical declarations of independence, yet these statements are born of a healthy musical dependence. There's a terrific give-and-take between Vonder Haar and her bandmates; it's most notably heard in overlapping, entangled vocals but is manifested in the record's instrumental presence and power, as well. "Waves" is an album that invites repeated listens to find and appreciate all the puzzle pieces and moving parts that come together in a lively whole.
•≥  "Waves" was produced by Violet and the Undercurrents. The album was recorded and mixed by Phylshawn Johnson at The Holey Acres Studio and mastered by Bruce Barkelew at Mansion Studio in Columbia.” 
CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/violetandtheundercurrent3  — Columbia Daily Tribune


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