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The High Violets swirl

The High Violets
Friday, April 19

This Friday, many local Indy rock fans’ gaze will move from sneakers to heavens. They’ll sigh and say, “It’s about time.” Patrons of original live music know it’s high time the High Violets release a proper album. The album, 44 down, is their proper full-length debut (they released a solid EP Dream Away a couple years ago), and this Friday’s CD release performance at Berbati’s will kick off a U.S. tour to promote the album.

44 down is on the Irish label Reverb, on whose recent compilation a couple Violets tunes reportedly raised an English and Irish buzz. Irish electronic artists are even remixing a few Violet tunes. One will appear on the 2002 Digital Belfast compilation. Perhaps one of the mixes will make it onto a dance floor near you .

That’s not to say you can’t try and dance to the High Violets swirly smooth sounds this Friday. Theirs isn’t exactly dance music, but it’s not as shoegazer as many would say. The band rightly notes influences like Spiritualized, My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Galaxy 500. The rhythm section lays down solid mid-tempo pop grooves and guitarists provide a clean wall of fuzzy chords. Topping things off are Kaitlyn Ni Donovan’s high, airy vocals, often sounding like an instrument rather than plain lyrical delivery. Their songs blend into one another and the experience is psychedelic and spacey. “Comet rock,” is how drummer Luke Strahota once described their sound.

The over five-year-old quartet has probably played over a hundred shows in Portland. They’ve always been very supportive of the local music scene and have frequently received critical praise and recommendation. Some Portland scenesters have grown accustomed to the violets solid swirls of pop and local interest fluctuates. It’s a blessing that an Irish buzz may launch these four great people back into the cosmos. It’s definitely time for the Violets to get some props, even if they are a few thousand miles away.

Space with them at Berbati’s because you never know, they might up and move to Ireland tomorrow.