The Violet Lights
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The Violet Lights

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
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This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

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"Review: The Violet Lights - Sex & Sound EP"

I’m completely stoked about this particular band, even though they’ve yet to officially release anything. But I’ve spent the last few days listening to their Debut EP that will be released on May24th and it’s fantastic.

This five piece band formed in LA recorded in the legendary Sunset Sound Recorders and lemme tell ya… your auditory cavities are about be blessed with a true rareity… an indie band that actually has been produced well. It truly makes my heart happy to hear something from a band that’s just starting out that doesn’t sound like it was recorded in a garage.

I feel that it bares mentioning that they’re an extremely new band (as in they formed at the beginning of this year) but I find myself sincerely hoping that they don’t follow the path of so many bands that never live past musical infancy. *Insert mellow dramatic rendition of Dust In The Wind here* Their sound seems surprisingly developed for such a new band… but that all go towards their credibility as musicians. I’d classify them as sounding like The Strokes, The Velvet Underground, or a slightly more palatable version of Babyshambles.

Visit their page to stream the EP and fall just as in love with it as me Here. I’d suggest keeping tabs on these guys buy liking their Facebook Page… or if you’re a pedifile and/or living in 2004 then you can visit their MySpace.

So my personal note to The Violet Lights is this… Please keep making music, even if it’s just for me… pretty pretty please? - New Music Monkey


"Review: The Violet Lights – Sex & Sound EP"

Angular guitars and hollered vocals kick off this five track EP from this Los Angeles group, opening track Your Love/Not Enough has shades of Ok Go with its breathy, emotive lead vocals, indie-pop guitar riffs and a carefully constructed arrangment with an eye on toe-tapping and coolly-restrained dancing. Ready Or Not has a slinkier rhythm that seems to be more indebted to scruffy Brits like Arctic Monkeys, punctuated by sharp chords from guitarist/vocalist Joel Nass, it’s a little more arch and theatrical, with a nice spiralling keyboard aside from Amber Garvey that cues up a final plunge into the chorus.

The title track has an anthemic bent, the track building and then stopping short, it bares some resemblance to the poppiest moments of fellow Californians Phantom Planet, but it lacks their knack for a truly catchy chorus, and seems a little to eager to be a hand-clapping sing-a-long.

Substitute is a delightful cacophony, a bit messy in a pleasingly sleazy way, Nass slipping between a bark and a breathy murmur, it’s just a shame that the choruses swagger into two-step The Automatic territory, a bit of a dreary counterpoint to the scruffy verses. Final track It’d Be Fine awkwardly pitches Joel’s voice alongside Amber Garvey’s in a jaunty alt-country ballad, the keys and organ lines work well, giving things a nice sentimental streak, alongside Matthew Parsons and Mike Walker’s chirpy bass and drum lines respectively, with the track feeling like one of Rilo Kiley‘s more flippant efforts.

- God is in the TV Zine


"Review: The Violet Lights - Sex & Sound"

Joel Nass and Amber Garvey are The Violet Lights, a Los Angeles based rock duo. Their debut EP Sex & Sound is a mash-up of Britpop, NYC garage rock and West Coast guitar musings. Energetic and catchy, these five tracks have obviously been influenced by the echo heavy stuff that George Harrison wrote The Beatles (by way of Oasis).

They made good use of the acoustics of Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA. Never mind that there's some leakage, it only beefs the sound. The lead single Your Love/Not Enough will get them some airplay, but the stand-out track is Substitute, with a guitar motif in the chorus that brings back The Shirts. - Here Comes The Flood


"The Violet Lights – “Your Love / Not Enough”"

I discovered The Violet Lights on a blind submission. (See? Dreams can come true!) The rock duo’s forthcoming EP, Sex & Sound, is pretty darned good, a kind of Velvet Underground descendant collection of songs more befitting of the “garage” label than, say, The Strokes. - Classical Geek Theater


"New music at 90.3 The Core: “Sex & Sound” by The Violet Lights"

I’ve always been a fan of extended play records; EPs. I love the idea of short albums. To me, an artist releases an EP when they’ve written a few songs that they really like and decide that, instead of writing filler songs to put out a full-length, they’ll instead just release the songs as they are. EPs are more concise and easier to get through; they’re a smaller time commitment. Instead of an artist throwing every little musical idea they have at the listener, they’re forced to pick and choose the best stuff they have and make a nicely focused record. I love being able to sit down with a record and be done with it 20 minutes later. If it’s good, I’ll frequently put the record on again. It’s much more difficult to do that with LP albums.

…And that brings me to the subject of this review, the Sex & Sound EP by The Violet Lights. The 5-track record clocks in at 16 minutes and 14 seconds, making it the very definition of concise and to-the-point. The Violet Lights are technically a two-person band who have lots of help in the studio. The band proper consists of Joel Nass (guitar, vocals, production) and Amber Garvey (keyboards, vocals). According to the press release accompanying the album, the duo are from Green Bay, Wisconsin and up and moved to Los Angeles, with no plans except a desire to make music. Whether or not that’s the whole truth, I can’t say, but I want to believe that it’s true, because it’s unbelievably awesome. Sex & Sound is the first release by the band; they formed in early 2011.

The record begins with the lead single, “Your Love/Not Enough.” The song is simple, short (indeed, no song on the album is over 4 minutes long), and unbelievably catchy. Nass’ vocal work takes center stage here. He croons the lyrics like Jake Snider of Minus The Bear fame, while the backing band turns out some scratchy, tasteful post-punk guitars that would sound right at home on Bloc Party’s debut album. A lot of people will probably be reminded of the new Kings Of Leon album, if the album had actually been good. The drumming on the track, especially the intro, is subtle yet very well-executed. I hear the song as a relic of early 2000s indie rock; I don’t think many people would disagree. Indeed, that observation probably applies to the whole album.

Sex & Sound is permeated by a sense of whimsy and fun. In my mind, I imagine the album as the soundtrack to a night out at some cool bars and clubs in New York City. This mood is exemplified in the subtle, dramatic bass riff that dominates the verses of the second track, “Ready Or Not.” It screams cool and is accompanied with a powerful, steady drum beat that moves the track along effortlessly. The band slow it down for “Sex & Sound,” the title track. They toss in some keyboards in the verses that remind me of the way Bright Eyes uses the instrument in the song “Lover I Don’t Have To Love.” It definitely works well in the context of the song, but I’m not sure that I like it overall. It’s the only time keyboards are prominent on the whole record and it feels a little forced. When I first listened through the record, I picked this track out as the weakest on the album, but after repeated listens, it grew on me.

“Substitute” is the most interesting track and, in my opinion, the best, on the album. They borrow equal parts Jack White bluesy, grungy garage rock riffs and a hi-hat shredding Franz Ferdinand dance-punk chorus. It’s an odd juxtaposition but they pull it off nicely; it feels natural. Particularly notable is the first verse, which utilizes the empty space very well to create an interesting atmosphere; less is more in that case. I’m still not quite sure what to say about “It’d Be Fine,” the closing track on the album. It has the feel of a ballad with some light electric guitar flourishes. The track is dominated by the dual vocals of Nass and Amber Garvey; her voice is more prominent here than on any other track. She still doesn’t sing lead, but her harmonies are supportive and very pretty.

In the course of writing this review, I listened to the record through two times. As both the EP and the review come to an end, I find myself unable to not press play again. In that sense, Sex & Sound is a resounding success. The songs are surprisingly deep and become more and more interesting with repeated listens. If there’s a weak track on the album, it’s the final song, but in reality, the whole record works nicely. The Violet Lights work with a broad sonic palate, drawing influence from a nice variety of modern indie bands, which is both the record’s strongest positive quality and its largest drawback. The record is eclectic and never boring; however, I think The Violet Lights have plenty of growing to do. They seem almost overwhelmed by their influences and, in attempting to pay homage to the great music that inspires them, they forget that to create a great record, the artist needs to amalgamate their raw material into something that is uniquely theirs. In that sense, Sex & Sound is lacking. Yet at I type this, the record is still spinning in the background. I’ve listened to it four or five times today. As I discussed above, I think the fact that this is a short record is a positive. These songs are simple on the surface, but show surprising depth on repeated listens. I’m officially on The Violet Lights’ bandwagon. Here’s to the hope that they continue to make music and improve with time. - Art for Art's Sake Radio


"The Violet Lights // Your Love/Not Enough"

We’re proud to introduce Los Angeles’ The Violet Lights’ first single this evening to our readers. Submitted to us earlier in the week, The Violet Lights are a duo formed in Green Bay, Wisconsin who made the the trek to Los Angeles to record a refreshing and passionate EP titled Sex and Sound. Their coming out party in the blogosphere is uplifting as the band has really committed themselves to telling their story as they evolve on their blog. Their sound is a dirty brit-pop mixed with layered indie rock guitars, with some inclination towards the Cali surf vibe. We really dig the lead singer’s harmonies on Your Love/Not Enough along with the sexy-cool garage rock image. Apparently they just had their debut live show, and we’re looking forward to whenever they raise enough cash to hit the road and introduce everyone to their new EP. Look for Sex and Sound to dr0p on May 24th, and enjoy the debut single! - Eavesdrop


"Freshman Honors: The Violet Lights"

During a post-college band publicity gig, I discovered (then researched, then stalked) a woman with whom it became my ultimate quest to get a five-minute slot of time with. This woman was Alex Patsavas. Some of you may not recognize her name, but you’ve seen it a million times before under the Music Supervision credit line of basically every teen dream (and otherwise) movie and television show of the past few years. She’s the musical mastermind behind Grey’s Anatomy, The O.C, Gossip Girl, Twilight, Mad Men, Water for Elephants…just to name a few.
You know that high school girl that has somehow discovered some up-and-coming band, splattered her binder with their stickers and is now simply listed as “girl who really loves that one band” in the yearbook? Alex Patsavas churns out 500 of these girls before breakfast every day.
But this post isn’t (really) about Alex Patsavas. A few months ago when a submission came through from a brand spanking new LA group called The Violet Lights, I thought of Ms. Patsavas within 10 seconds of listening. Why? Because The Violet Lights are highly marketable: with a British-influenced pop-rock sound this band is sexy, chic and fun. Basically this band is a dream come true for someone like Alex Patsavas and for an emerging indie pop rock band, this is a very good position to be in.
In a few months Alex will, too, discover this band, slap them on the background of a Gossip Girl make-out scene and shoot The Violet Lights straight to the hearts and binders of aforementioned churned out girls.
And though I don’t have anywhere near the power Alex does, I just basically wanted documented dated proof that I saw this in them before her. (So I may have a slight competitive streak. Whatever.)
Not to at all discredit talent of The Violet Lights, just to point out that being in this type of genre is tough right now. Indie press comes from a lot of magazines and websites who won’t talk about you because you’re not indie (read: weird) enough and the Top 40 folks don’t care abut you until you’ve flung up the Billboard charts and threatened Train. TV and film placement is practically necessary for a talented band with mainstream potential because it’s the fastest way to the kids. And, thanks to people like Alex Patsavas, the music being shot to the kids is getting to be of better and better quality.

The Violet Lights are a five-piece group from Silver Lake, fronted by Joel Nass and Amber Garvey, who are so fresh to the scene they barely have one EP under their belt. But the EP they have Sex and Sound is undoubtedly all they will need to find success (or at least a label to fund the full album). They shine on the single “Your Love/Not Enough”, a strong alternative pop tune and bring out their edgy garage-side on “Substitute,” but it’s “Sex and Sound” that is ultimately the striking standout- an instant hit. They are one of my favorite non-label/publicist band submissions in the history of this site because getting a good one is rare, getting an incredible one is just astounding.

Freshman Honors is basically a way for me to say, “I told you so” when bands that I find in early stages explode and take over the world. And also I like to create loyalties to people I think will be very rich someday. So, yeah, The Violet Lights were the perfect fit. - The FiveThreeSix


Discography

Sex & Sound (EP)
-Release: May 24, 2011
-Label: self-released
-Format: CD

Chart Postitions:

Aug 2, 2011 - Sex & Sound appeared at #12 on the CMJ Radio 200 Adds chart

Aug 26, 2011 - Sex & Sound appeared at #158 on the CMJ Radio Top 200 chart

Stations at which Sex & Sound appeared in the top 30:

WLCA (Godfrey, IL) at #24
WDBM (East Lansing, MI) at #15
WFWM (Frostburg, MD) at #24
WMCX (W. Longbranch, NJ) at #6
WRBC (Lewiston, ME) at #12
WWHR (Bowling Green, KY) at #4
RLC (Piscataway, NJ) at #6
WHFR (Dearborn, MI) at #30
KWLC (Decorah, IA) at #17
AM1700 (Ann Arbor, MI) at #30
KRSC (Claremore OK) at #29

Photos

Bio

THE VIOLET LIGHTS are a rock duo based in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California. Tracking their debut EP, Sex & Sound, at the legendary Hollywood studio Sunset Sound Recorders, they emerged with what is being described as a “Velvet Underground descendant collection of songs more befitting of the ‘garage’ label than, say, The Strokes” and a surprisingly developed sound labeled “a mash-up of Britpop, NYC garage rock and West Coast guitar musings.”

The project got its start when Joel Nass and Amber Garvey left their hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin without plans or money and headed west. Getting by in LA while developing their music has proven to be a trying yet colorful adventure for the two, a story chronicled on their blog and accompanied by their own uniquely stylized photographs and videos. This running narrative and coordinated visual aesthetic is a considerable complement to the project, engaging fans in the ongoing story and bringing writers to comment, “Their coming out party in the blogosphere is uplifting as the band has really committed themselves to telling their story as they evolve on their blog…We really dig the sexy-cool garage rock image.”

Sex & Sound has garnered media coverage worldwide, with critics taking notice of the high production standards and fun, radio-friendly quality of the self-produced, self-funded record. Bloggers are designating the five-song effort as “full of muscular guitars and hummable hooks,” and deeming the songs “energetic and catchy” while predicting, “Sex & Sound is undoubtedly all they will need to find success.”