The High Violets
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The High Violets

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Press


"Atlanta Music Guide"

This trio's footwear must all have holes burned through the tops, such is their shoegaze obsession. Unabashed disciples of echoey, wall-of-sound guitar, this Portland outfit plays serious homage to their predecessors while crafting magic-carpet reveries worthy of their own audience. Completing the picture are Kaitlyn ni Donavan's wraithlike vocals, which raise the bar for how gorgeous one record can be. Grab this now, and drift the day away. - Amanda Langston


"the Stranger (Seattle)"

Unlike a lot of their shoegazing brethren, Portland's the High Violets don't sacrifice substance for style. Their new album is a stunner - nine gorgeous, hazy songs that are as memorable as they are atmospheric. Singer Kaitlyn ni Donovan's voice is a perfect foil -- it practically floats above the music and makes you think that this is what Lush could've sounded like if they'd gotten less caught up in hype and been more serious about their songwriting. Whether slowing things down to a breathtaking quiet or building to a crashing crescendo, the High Violets are always captivating. - Barbara Mitchell


"Rolling Stone Magazine"

"Shimmering, starry-eyed ethereality" - Campus Scenes that Rock


"usounds - le internacional"

Rating 8.0
... the Portland band stands apart from many of its dream-pop contemporaries through its marriage of the right mixture of bite and beauty. "To Where You Are" is a potent little album that raises quite a bar above its bland name.

There's some respectable guitar work on this disc. Clint Sargent knows how to make a telecaster howl like a razor-encrusted dog in heat. His wailing distortion and powerhouse tremolo give the music a necessary punch to elevate it above the general collage of four-piece indie acts.

The band's vocalist, Kaitlyn ni Donovan is rooted in 1980s dark pop melodies like Aimee Mann's work with Till Tuesday more than in the angsty power pop of the 1990s. She can provide her own harmonies adeptly and also churns out some pretty flash riffs. Spinning a mix of Sonic Youth's "Daydream Nation" flangy guitars, she knows how to choose her influences.

The High Violets' crunchiest songs resemble a similar obscure ensemble of the 1990s called Medicine. Loud, twisted effect guitars in the style of My Bloody Valentine mixed with the lofty harmonies of a dreamy female vocalist. The same's true on "To Where You Are" and it sounds damn good.

Though the High Violets hit their apex on their power-rock tracks, there's plenty here for everyone.

This one's a keeper. - Matthew Wendus


"SkidMark's Best CDs of 2006"

I can't say enough good stuff about this album... from the instantly upbeat groove/enforced head nodding & shoulder swinging of the classic shoegaze "Sun Baby" through "Love is Blinding" with nuances of Jesus & Mary Chain, Fleetwood Mac and the lush ethereal reverb guitar of latter day Hawkwind, the album continues on with one rush of endorphins after another. Check my personal favourites tracks 4 & 8, "Invitation" & X-tasy". They are pure aural feel good factor! Beautiful vocals interwine with catchy hooks and melodies. Simply the best independent CD heard here at Skid Mark during 2006. - Mark Edwards


"TimeOut New York"

Recorded over a period of three years, "To Where You Are" is worth the wait, especially for its well-crafted songs. But the album's catchy strains would have far less impact without singer Kaitlyn ni Donovan. Her watercolor vocals are the crowning jewel on the CD's shimmering sound. On the album opener, "Sun Baby," she shows off her ethereal falsetto, which blends seamlessly with the band's muted guitars. Then, atop the slow slide-guitars riffs on "Invitation," ni Donovan's reverb-drenched verses take on the torch power of an alt-country ballad. The set's strongest track, "Cool Green," combines all the best traits of The High Violets' sound. At once mild and forthright, the song's scrambled synths, menacing riffs and floating melodies add up to a perfect pop ditty and a distorted dream in one shot. - Cristina Black


"Portland Tribune"

While '90's shoegazers like Lush and Ride often seemed more concerned with creating atmosphere than actual songs, Portland's very own High Violets have taken a more balanced approach on their new album, "To Where You Are." The result is dreamy and often ethereal pop of the highest order.

It's taken the band three years to follow up on its nationally heralded debut, but the wait has definitely been worth it. "To Where You Are" shimmers from start to finish, with Kaitlyn ni Donovan's vocals gliding effortessly above the music.

The album kicks off with the My bloody Valentine-esque roar of "Sun Baby," but quickly adds a rainbow of colors to the shoegazer palette. "Chinese Letter" is a sunny affair, while "Invitation" floats along in a daydream haze. "Cool Green" is bouncy, candy-coated synth-pop and "X-tasy" finds the band rocking to the stratosphere, carried by Clint Sargent's guitar.

"To Where You Are" concludes with the stunning chillout of the title song, with ni Donovan's angelic vocals intoning "Feel my light up to where you are." It's hard to imagine anyone not being enraptured by the High Violets. - Barbara Mitchell


"Mish Mash Music Review"

The High Violets are just the right justaposition of quietness and loudness. Vocalist Kaitlyn ni Donovan has a sweet and soothing voice, which rides high above big shimmering guitars. The result is a dream-like state where the best of both worlds spin and weave into a sonic whilrwind of sound.

The standout track here is "Invitation," where the band puts all their pop-making skills into play. ni Donovan's voice drifts in and out of atmospheric guitar lines, delivering a haunting melody that you'd almost swear you've heard before, because it just has "that" feel. In other words, this band has a classic in the making.

This album should soon be turning the heards of music fans everywhere. Do yourself a favor and seek it out now. - Mish Mash Mandate: Violets Are Blue


"Magnet Magazine"

"Kaitlyn ni Donovan has a voice that would melt the Jesus and Mary Chain's heart, and ballad 'Invitation' proves the Violets are capable of writing a great tune." - Review


"Grave Concerns"

"To Where You Are is an exceptionally solid affair, an album that's consistently great from start to finish. With both accessibility and depth, it's an immaculately produced and energetic-yet-emotive outing that's likely to draw quite a bit of attention, and deservendly so. Highly Recommened." - Review


Discography

LPs:
Satellite Remixes (2007)
To Where You Are (2006)
44 Down (2002)
available through Reverb Records, CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes and other record stores and download sites
EP: Dream Away (2000)

Photos

Bio

Described as "flowing, edgy, hypnotic and very contagious" The High Violets have tapped the vein of Lush, the Sundays and the Cocteau Twins while defining their own sound. Layered guitars, textured arrangements and ethereal vocals combine to create a skilled and respectful blend of pop and shoegazing sensibilities.

The High Violets formed after the demise of legendary Portland favorite, The Bella Low, a band who shared regular gigs with other Portland psych bands like The Dandy Warhols, Swoon 23, Rick Bain & the Genius Position, Heatmiser, and Sugar Boom. As Seattle breathed grunge’s last breath and Portland blossomed as a dream-pop launch pad to space, lead guitarist Clint Sargent and drummer Luke Strahota planted the seeds that flourished into The High Violets. After a few early line-up changes they were able to draft in one of Portland's most amazing voices, Kaitlyn ni Donovan. Having an extremely successful solo career of her own, Kaitlyn immediately added the lush vocals and beautiful melodies the band needed.

Their debut album “44 Down", released in 2002, garnered them praise by critics as standouts in resurgence of the shoegazer sound. Under the Radar Magazine and Magnet Magazine singled out the band and album with full page feature articles after its release noting its influence.

“To Where You Are, “ produced, engineered and mixed by Tony Lash (Dandy Warhols, Elliott Smith, Tahiti 80) and Jeff S Saltzman (Sleater Kinney, Stephen Malkamus) was released in 2006. Press releases proclaimed Clint Sargent’s layered guitars the standout feature and Kaitlyn ni Donovan’s water color vocals the crowning jewel on the release…”well crafted songs giving fans new and old a healthy dose of their soft and hard sides expertly mixed together”. Among other radio highlights for the release, both Portland’s KINK Radio and Seattle’s KEXP invited the band to perform live on-air broadcasts culminating in some high profile NW shows and several national tours. The album was named Best Independent CD of the Year by UK’s Skidmark and hit several other end of year Top 10 lists. Among others, Marc Stephens in the Miami Sun Post, Music Critic John Davidson, Music Directors at KYMC & WMPG Radio and blogs such as MusicRex and Moopare all rated the release among their ’06 favorites

“Satellite Remixes", released in November 2007, features new interpretations of songs from "44 Down" and "To Where You Are". Remixes were created by a wide variety of Producers and DJs from around the globe including Ulrich Schnauss (UK/Germany), Carmen Rizzo (LA) BASIC (Belfast), Antahkarana Music (Mexico City) among others. Chinese Letter (Ulrich Schnauss mix) received a glowing review in Pitchfork’s Forkcast and was listed in their September “Best” playlist.

**Music Festival Performances**
SXSW ('06), NXNE ('07), Musicfest NW ('05,'06,'07), PDX POP Now! ('07), NoisePop ('08)

**Podcasts**
Pitchfork.com Forkcast, KEXP Seattle, KPSU Post Modern Rock Show, Breakthru Radio (NW Speciality Show), KEXP Live from MFNW

**Contact**
The Band: thehighviolets@gmail.com
Booking (Lost Barrio Artists): kris@lostbarriosartists.com
Record Label (Reverb Records): michael@reverbrecords.net