Slumberland Records, 2012

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


True is quite easily the most brilliant of all dream pop records; this latest release from New York’s Violens has some of the prettiest music ever. The album’s sound is an obvious olio of the alternative and New Wave scenes of the ‘80s and ‘90s, which is undeniable right down to its sleek minimalist cover that has the attributes of a Factory Records release. Violens reinterprets these styles from the past, not by trying to mimic a certain band, but by making melody a key aspect of each song, which was such a vital part of the success of some of these bands from the past era.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Violens is like The Smiths for a new generation, in terms of creating short melodious numbers that would give the listener goose bumps. True is just rich with cuts fitting this description. In fact tracks such as “Totally True,” “Sariza Spring,” and “Through The Window” have the distinctive jangle pop characteristic of The Smiths, with velvety vocals that melt like warm chocolate into the music. “When To Let Go,” the most jangly of all cuts is like Tears For Fears on a Beach Boys-inspired mood, whereas “So Hard To See,” with its genuine synth pop influence, has elements of the kind that made Tears For Fears so popular.

The group did not set out to create an all-out pop record, which can is evident here from the ominous instrumentals “Lavender Forces” and “Lucent Caries,” and especially by edgier cuts like “Every Melting Degree,” “Unfolding Black Wings,” and “All Night Low.” These tracks have a Pale Saints-esque dynamic, where dark dreggy guitar sounds are paired with moments of melody. But these strangely somber songs are by no means gothic, much as the rest of the album is not flat-out upbeat sweetmeat.

Alongside similar albums like Lansing-Dreiden’s The Dividing Island, True isn’t stuck in the past like most post-punk/dream pop revival records of this decade. Instead, it manages to reinvent the past and create something that is totally transcendent.

Rating: A

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© 2012 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Slumberland Records, and is used for informational purposes only.