Last year Violet Indiana released their debut full-length album,
This is a single designed to accompany that album. It contains
Killer Eyes off of the album, two additional tracks,
and a quicktime video of Killer Eyes.
Killer Eyes is a pretty good song. It's catchy, and
it focuses on the two strengths of Violet Indiana quite nicely.
(Those strengths being Robin Guthrie's guitarwork and Siobhan
DeMare's voice.) It is a fine choice for a single.
And yet.... What's the point? I mean, in this day and age,
what is the point in releasing a single off of an album? Most
people who might hear the song on the radio go buy the album.
Do radio stations only play things that are classified as "singles"?
I mean real radio stations, ones that make money, unlike the
NPR and college radio stations that i listen to.
In a way, it seems as if the whole point of "CD singles" is
to provide something else for the diehard collector to have
to search for. Another thing for us poor slobs who are compelled
to spend our hard earned cash on everything so much as touched
by our musical heroes to search for!
It seems almost ... exploitative.
I dunno. Maybe i'm overreacting a bit. The single is priced
lower than an album or an EP, so it is sort of a bargain. Then
again, i paid import price for this, since it wasn't released
in the US... And since British money is better than American,
it wasn't a bargain for me.
I am annoyed at the necessity of having to go out of my way
to purchase an additional release for completeness sake. On
the other hand, Robin Guthrie has always done quality work,
even on b-sides. And i am the type of music geek who wants to
Well, enough ranting. I am moderately annoyed at this formatting,
but moreso at the difficulty in obtaining it. Why isn't this
stuff released in the US? It's good stuff!
So the single starts off with Killer Eyes, which, as
i said above, is a darned fine tune.
Track two is called Storm and it is mellow jazz tune.
I often think that Violet Indiana are a sultry vocal jazz ensemble
(think Etta James in the 50's for an idea of i am thinking of
here), but this is their jazziest tune by far. It features some
lovely upright bass (Yum -- upright bass!) thumping away behind
Guthrie's layered guitar. One guitar layer is really mellow
and wanders around in the background, while over top of that
he plays louder and with the massive amounts of tremolo that
have become the Violet Indiana signature. But on top of all
of that is DeMare's voice. It is the real focus of the song,
and she turns in another great performance. This is a really
Safe Word has keyboards, funky bass riffs, and drumming.
It is not so jazzy, and while it is catchy it is not particularly
noteworthy after the two songs that proceed it. It is a decent
The video for Killer Eyes is a nice added bonus. Violet
Inidiana are all about including video on their CD's (there
is one on Special
as well as one on an early Bella Union Records sampler disc),
which i think is a neat added bonus. I approve of the whole
"multimedia experience", and not just because that is the industry
i work in. Since a CD can hold any kind of data, why bother
to release a CD with just 3 songs? That would leave almost 500
MB of space wasted. Instead, throw on a video. Add some spiffy
Flash animation. Fill the remainder of your CD with your manifesto!
(I am actually surprised that more of those Marxist punk acts
that Malimus is into don't package long ranting text files on
So, even though i don't like sitting in front of my computer
watching a video, i approve of the concept.
Plus, it's neat to get to watch music videos. I grew up watching
MTV, and i like the art form. Nowadays when i flip past MTV
on the idiot box they invariably have one of their cheesey real
life soap operas on. Do they even play videos anymore? Even
if they did, these kinds of CD releases would probably still
be my only chance to see Violet Indiana's videos anyway.
I am an audio person. I don't know much about video. I don't
know film theory, nor do i care to. So i feel kind of awkward
critiqing this video. But here goes....
There. This CD has two really good songs, one decent one, and
a video. If you are rabid Guthrie fan (like me) or a big DeMare
fan, this is totally worth getting. If you like female voiced
jazzy pop, this is something you might want to track down.
The cost of an import single is probably restrictive though.