Birmingham's Violet, Feels Like Heaven - EP review

Birmingham five-piece Violet have never particularly felt in your face or forceful.

The artowrk for Violet's Feels Like Heaven EP
The artowrk for Violet's Feels Like Heaven EP

They have never seemed to ram themselves down your throat, instead opting to quietly make waves both through their online activity and gentle, tender music that has grabbed the attention of, among others, BBC 6 Music's Steve Lamacq and Clash Magazine.

This EP - the former Star Unsigned act's first - follows on the back of five singles that slowly build to serene instrumental endings and demand, through quality rather than volume, to be heard.

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Produced by Ryan Pinson at Wolverhampton's RML Studios and mastered by Peter Maher, it is on the usual digital outlets right now.

Atmospherics are key to this release via HolyHowl. Pop meets grunge as the deep, aggy basslines of the latter link to saccharine guitar chimes of the former in a delicately balanced but joyous relationship.

Check out opener Sometimes. Here there's the kind of plonking bass from Arran Bick that would power a big 80s hit jiving cockily around, while plinking guitar work weaves its magic over the top as an accompaniment to Luke Brickett's vocals. Theo Spivey is let loose with the synths too to sew the whole thing together with an almost ethereal quality that opens its arms like an awe-inspiring cathedral to wow you until the conclusion. It's wonderful work.

Preceding single Pure Blue also follows a similar design, but with a more uplifting tempo and swagger thanks to persistent percussion from the drums of Patrick Murphy. That rhythmic thumping adds another layer of oomph to Brickett and Harry Lehman's dancing guitars as a real wall of sound is created that towers over you with the same larger-than-life feel as its predecessor.

Violet, from Birmingham

There's also the sleek, late night feel to Shiver - another single to get its own release. It feels more claustraphobic than those mentioned above, a stark feeling of danger slithering through the bass that won't let up as the song progresses and the whole thing feels closer to you.

The slower, more plodding At Least I'll Say I Tried is the weakest of the four, but does finish off with a Wurlitzer of a finale that entices and spins with a mixture of guitars and keys.

It's a good listen from the Brummie-based boys, originally from Lichfield, as they look to turn the Violet of their name into red hot property.

Rating: 7/10

Violet will be playing on Saturday as part of the weekend of free launch events for new Birmingham venue Dead Wax Digbeth. Their debut EP can be heard on their Spotify page.

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