“When you do find something that you care about, don’t be afraid to share it, and get involved. There is nothing cool about ‘not giving a fuck.’ That’s just lazy. I do give a fuck. And I’m not afraid to say it.” – Transviolet in an interview with TMRW Magazine.
Once again, Spotify’s Discover feature came in great use to me three weeks ago when making the long, arduous trek from Chipotle back to my apartment. I owe many burritos to the genius who made it possible for my love of relatively small bands to be satisfied this easily. On this particular, chilly January evening, Transviolet played through my crackling headphones and I fell in love. It just sounded so cool.
While it was more difficult than anticipated to find information on this lovely band, I have since discovered that Transviolet is an LA-based quartet comprised of band members Sarah McTaggart, Judah McCarthy, Michael Panek and Jon Garcia. Utilizing no website or Wikipedia page, Transviolet instead relies on their own social media to foster their relationship with fans and create an intimate and personal platform. Releasing its debut single in July 2015, Transviolet has since skyrocketed in popularity after receiving public endorsements from Katy Perry and Harry Styles. In September 2015, its first self-titled EP hit the charts as the band played on “The Late Late Show with James Corden.”
Transviolet takes the best aspects of electronica, pop and synth to create a sound entirely its own. The opening track of Transviolet, “Girls Your Age,” is Lana Del Rey meets electropop. It’s sultry, seductive and cynical rolled into one when McTaggart sings, “Bad boy talking fast / Talking dirty / He tells me that I’m hot / So I tell him that I love him.” While the instrumentals remain minimalistic in order for the lyrics to take precedence, the vocal skill makes up for any loss in bass. In a nod to del Rey, the song ends with, “Live fast while you’re young, honey.”
“Bloodstream,” my personal favorite from the EP, takes on a heavier rock sound with strong vocals and crashing drums. Consistent, underlying synth retains the electronic vibe, yet brings a angsty edge to an otherwise upbeat song. “New Bohemia” continues to make social observations without sounding preachy. It speaks to the new generation and urges us to challenge preconceived notions and make our own mark on the world, insisting, “In waves we crash, one voice / Making headlines just for kicks / Trying to get love, not trying to get rich.”
The closing track, “Night Vision,” retains the strongest electronic vibe, opening with artificially produced beats and crashing synthetic echoes. Subdued vocals croon, “Get on your knees / And praise me like you should.” With relaxed verses and a booming chorus, the juxtaposition creates a tangible shift in energy within the listener.
The band’s social activism and desire to support other groups are just a few of the ways Transviolet’s making its own imprint on the musical sphere. One thing is certain: This is just the beginning for Transviolet.