Violet Indiana's Choke EP is the latest project of ex-Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie, a collaboration with vocalist Siobhan De Mare which is released at the end of November on the Bella Union label Robin helped found. Fans of his former achievements won't be disappointed with the dreamy soundscapes on offer on this new EP - his trademark atmospheric production skills combined with lush and haunting guitar work lend the four songs here a sad but rich intensity.
The first track, "Purr la perla", opens with quiet swathes of reverb-laden guitar. Siobhan de Mare adds dreamy vocals that sound quite dramatic, smoky and sad. Whether this vocal style appeals is a matter of personal taste - I feel it works well on the opening track, but on "Busted" her diva-like vocal stylings get a little too much at times. Still, they combine with smooth production to give the track a very epic pop sound... the chorus swells into something surprisingly catchy for a song so dreamy and melancholic, with Robin Guthrie's arrangements providing an intelligent alternative to the efforts of the more predictable chart pop divas out there.
On the last two tracks, "silent" and "torn up", echoey layers of vocals and guitar all contribute to a melancholy soundscape. Overall the EP's relaxing reflective and emotional sound is surely good for stress relief, dream-pop with a tragic blue edge to it. It should be accessible to a wide range of music fans and is worth checking out, especially for devotees of Robin Guthrie's earlier body of work.
6Matthew Willson's Score