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Violet Woods - Violet Woods

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 14 / 11 / 2014

Violet Woods - Violet Woods
Label: Meadows Records
Format: CD


Subtle 60’s-influenced harmonic pop/psychedelia on enjoyable debut album from Cambridge-based band, Violet Woods

Formed in Cambridge in 2011, Violet Woods have lived a quiet existence up to now, chalking up a few support slots and releasing a limited edition vinyl-only single in 2012. After that, the news feed on their website appeared to go dead for more than a year. That all may change with the release of a self-titled debut album, which affectionately re-creates the sonic template of the mid to late sixties (the Zombies and Love seem to be especially big influences). Think groovy rhythms, harmoniums and bristling guitar lines – but then toned down, spaced out and re-imagined into a slow-burning, sleepy haze. Violet Woods make no bones about their debt to the past. Indeed, songwriter Xavier Watkins – who some readers will recognise as one part of Fuzzy Lights – explains that recording in London's soup studios was “the perfect match” because it would mean only using recording techniques available fifty years ago. There is not much information about the band's background online (perhaps deliberately), but with Fuzzy Lights tending more towards orchestrated folk-rock, Watkins seems to be using this band as a conscious attempt to explore a very different musical terrain. It is at times a subtle beast, with gently plucked guitar lines and eerie ghostly keyboards in the background of long instrumental passages that only briefly reach any intensity. Yet, on the aforementioned 'Raw Love', we find the keyboards buzzing on a muted Mod anthem while 'Driftwood Royalty' dreamily echoes the deceptive innocence of early Pink Floyd. It's all rather impressive – and at just 36 minutes, will quickly have you reaching for the repeat button.

Track Listing:-
1 Electric Fascination
2 Over the Ground
3 Here
4 The Dancer
5 Take Your Time
6 What I Need
7 Raw Love
8 Driftwood Royalty
9 The River

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