There is something to be said about the social act of live music—gathering in a venue and watching a group of musicians emote through song. It helps, of course, when the musicians are talented. Standing in a narrow bar, under the glow of purple and red lights, watching the foursome that is Cold Violets take to the stage to align their instruments and get their bearings, there is a palpable energy in the room, a certain anticipation that can be felt in both directions; from the crowd and the band members.
The Cold Violets are talented musicians. If the first few songs hadn’t convinced us of their individual strengths, then it would have become immediately clear mid-set when they began to switch roles and swap instruments. They are a creative force that knows their way around a live set and the tightest of stage areas. We know this to be certain because we have rocked out at three of their most recent L.A. shows.
After hopping all over the east side to catch them inside The Arts District’s Resident, to Highland Park’s The Hi Hat, and Hollywood’s Harvard & Stone, it is safe to say Cold Violets are the opposite of what their moniker suggests. (We aren’t quite sure how they came to be called Cold Violets but we would like to assume it’s a reference to Bob Ross, and a palette of cooler shades of purples and blues. We’re probably way off.)
Self described as “existing at the intersection between the infectious rhythms of 1980s post-punk, the earnest, poetic lyricism of 1950s American folk music, and the uninhibited freedom of present-day indie rock”, Cold Violets is the musical product of Sergio Still (vocals, guitar, bass), Eliot Dewberry (guitar, synth, bass), Wes Dewberry (bass, guitar, synth) and Maxwell McDonald (drums).
Although Still writes the lyrics himself and bellows them with a cadence as strong as that of Morrissey (we are all in agreement about this over here), Cold Violets is responsible for writing the music as a group—a group that has received a comment or two on Instagram comparing their posture and the way they carry themselves to the likes of Interpol.
Standing still at their shows is nearly impossible, because Cold Violets wants you to dance. Even if you tried not to, a random girl you have never met might grab your hand and yank you onto the dance floor, spilling your glass of red wine, but you’ll keep dancing anyway. This actually happened at The Hi Hat last month, where an all out dance party ensued in front of the stage. Of course it would be understood if you were just standing still in awe of all this.
During the Harvard & Stone show, their song “Emma”, which we now recognized, stood out as a near climax of the set. Something about the band’s intensity and Sergio’s delivery seemed to arc in a way we had yet to witness, suddenly the song and the performance had an emotional depth that was resonating. Truly, each of their performances has witnessed a band growing into a unified presence.
After each of their shows we would enquire about the tangible music. Where can we hear these songs? Send us links! Where’s the album? Luckily they have been hard at work recording songs, mixing tracks, and preparing tirelessly to release them unto the world. Which is why we are ecstatic to present the official debut of their new track, “Copper Lip”!
This song is absolute excitement from the get-go and makes us wish we were standing in front of one of those stages, reveling in the joy of seeing them live—again. We will definitely be playing this song on repeat (and making multiple visits to their Soundcloud page) until their return to The Hi Hat on April 28. Hope to see you there!