Album Reviews

Violet Indiana – Roulette

(Bella Union) UK release date: 30 April 2001

Violet Indiana – Roulette Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins and Siobhan de Maré (Mono) create dreamy, wistful soundscapes as Violet Indiana. Roulette, the first album, follows the debut EP Choke and is well worth checking out, especially for devotees of The Cocteau Twins.

De Maré’s crystal-clear, ethereal tones – especially on tracks such as Angel, Liar and Feline or famine – perfectly complement the soft, swirling guitars and gentle beats from Guthrie. She’s been described as ‘delivering distinctly adult lyrics with deadly calm’, and there is certainly a cool, collected feel about the whole album, with overtones of angst in Powder River, Hiding and Poison Gorgeous, one of the standout tracks.

It’s difficult to tell how ‘adult’ the lyrics are because they merge seamlessly into the music – this is very much the voice as an instrument, but hey, it’s a very pretty voice.

On the opening track, Air Kissing, de Maré does a very creditable impression of a sex kitten and on Sundance, another excellent song, we find some great multi-tracking that demonstrates the voice has the power and reach as well. Rage Days, despite the title, has all the anger of a day-old chick in a huff but the power is turned up to great effect in Killer Eyes.

My only quibble with this undeniably beautiful album is that it could do with a bit more variety, a change of pace every so often. But if you want to drift away on richly atmospheric sound this could be for you. Released by Bella Union Records, which was founded in 1997 by Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde. Now where have I heard those names before?

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