New York City’s The Violet Mine stands as a harmonious pairing of Meredith Minogue (vocalist, composer, and guitarist) and Jim Barry (composer and guitarist). Their forthcoming album, White Night, slated for a February 2024 release, was crafted under the discerning expertise of Reed Black, known for his collaborations with luminaries such as Karen O and Vampire Weekend. This compilation boasts ten tracks, seamlessly weaving together elements of folk-rock, distinctive guitar melodies, enveloping synth work, and deeply personal lyrical content.
The avant-folk Phantom Pain, the first offering from the album, delves deep into the profound sentiments of parting ways and the melancholy that accompanies the end of significant chapters in our lives; capturing the essence of a universal human experience with a timeless dark folk approach. The song is reminiscent of those introspective moments when we stand at the precipice of change, looking back at what was, while simultaneously facing the vast uncertainty of what lies ahead. It evokes the bittersweetness of memories shared with someone pivotal to our existence, encapsulating both the comfort of the familiar and the daunting nature of the unfamiliar.
Phantom Pain stands strong as a metaphorical journey; one that traverses the emotional landscapes of nostalgia, pain, acceptance, and ultimately, moving forward. The reference to “taking a last look around” encapsulates the human need to acknowledge, process, and come to terms with past experiences before embarking on new adventures, making the forlorn tune a deeply relatable and reflective piece. We hear shades of PJ Harvey, Jenny Lewis, Aimee Mann, Beth Orton, Cowboy Junkies, Sinead O’Connor in their haunting sound.
The spectral video, showcasing apparitions within an enigmatic historic residence, comes under the artful direction of renowned photographer Merri Cyr. Notably, Cyr’s portfolio boasts iconic imagery for a plethora of artists, among which stands the memorable Grace album cover for Jeff Buckley. This visual narrative was captured at Westport Historical Society’s Handy House in Massachusetts, a structure with origins tracing back to the early 18th century.
Watch the video below:
The Violet Mine’s sound draws from rock and roll, 70’s singer-songwriters, new wave, and dream pop. They have recorded two full length albums, We Both Know It’s Out There and The Last Cathedral, both of which were produced/engineered by Adam Lasus (Helium, Clem Snide, PJ Harvey, Yo La Tengo). In addition to Minogue and Barry’s talents, The Violet Mine also features Skip Ward on bass, Rob Draghi on drums and percussion, and Joe McGinty on keyboards.
Meredith Minogue is the co-creator of Fair Play, a concert series sponsored by City Winery that benefits the Bronx Immigration Partnership. Over the course of two shows Violet performed alongside artists including Chris Difford (Squeeze), Tracy Bonham, Richard Barone, Robben Ford, David Poe, Trixie Whitley, and Annie Minogue Band. Violet has appeared on CD compilations created by Magnet Magazine, Pop Culture Press and Jarmusic’s Coast to Coast, which included tracks by the Cowboy Junkies and Ani DiFranco. The band has played The Loft at City Winery, Rockwood Music Hall, Webster Hall, Knitting Factory and CMJ.
The Violet Mine’s forthcoming album, White Night, is a collection of ten songs that includes flashes of contemporary folk-rock mingling with guitar riffs, swirling synthesizers, and intimate lyrics. It will be released on February 16, 2024.
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