There is such a thing as mainstream shoegaze dreampop. Portland, OR quartetThe High Violets have all the trappings of an alternative favorite plus the pop sensibilites to lure the punters who live outside the circles of music geeks. Some of them might even think they are listening to Madonna – after she took some serious singing lessons and worked up the nerve to be backed by a real band.
Their new album Heroes And Halos is their first since Cinéma (2010). Lead guitarist Clint Sargent once again delivers a wealth of layered licks and flowing chord sequences. Singer Kaitlyn ni Donovan doesn’t need to raise her voice. If more volume is needed double tracking and echo can do the trick.
Shoegaze is a genre with a tendency to look inwards, but The High Violets aren’t afraid to discard the limitations and incorporate bit of pieces of chamber pop, indie rock and even radio-friendly girl-meets-boy songs. Recommended if you like Tindersticks, Dead Leaf Echo and the Cocteau Twins.