Their name was inspired by a Bukowski poem. They supported Bernie. And they are intent on making music that makes people stop and reflect.
LA quartet Transviolet have also kicked up quite a lot of buzz since their eponymous 2015 debut EP (Katy Perry and Harry Styles are fans). And now with an excellent six-song follow-up, Kaleidoscopes, just released, they seem poised to fully storm the cultural zeitgeist.
Perhaps the most striking track is the stinging social critique “The Hamptons” (guess who it’s about), with its cast of vividly painted but objectionable characters, set against a melancholy, electro-R&B musical backdrop. The rather surreal accompanying video (which debuts today) is like some bizarre aesthetic amalgam of Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola.
They’ll be appearing live at Baeble Music’s Bands + Brews at Industry City, Brooklyn, next Thursday, July 20. In the meantime, we chatted with singer Sarah McTaggart about the video and EP.
The video is quite a surreal production. How did you go about conceptualizing it?
We really liked the idea of creating a world that was all buttoned up and blue-blooded, and then completely turning it on it’s head. “The Hamptons” is about these characters who suffer from perpetual wanting, and dissatisfaction, so we wanted to illustrate that in the video by going completely over the top, pushing opulence into absurdity, blurring the lines of luxury and madness. We shared a lot of laughs thinking up all the bizarre scenarios with director Ben Fee.
Is that Christopher Lloyd making a guest appearance?
Yes, it’s his younger self, who made it just in time after going 88 mph in the Delorean.
There’s a creepy dad thing going on in the song, amongst other things. Are the lyrics based on things that really happened?
The lyrics are loosely based on a handful of cringeworthy experiences/stories/conversations I’ve had with people who may or may not have had too much time/money on their hands. Maybe it’s just me, but when someone starts listing off all the famous people they know, or the locations of their vacation houses, or the problem they have with the valet at Chateau Marmot, or why your zip code is of the utmost importance, I totally check out. It’s just not impressive to me. Money is boring.
What can we expect from the new EP, musically?
We enjoy creating bodies of work with lots of variety, and I think we’ve stayed true to that. I’ve never liked too many rules during the creative process. Each day, I wake up, and I write about what the world looks like to me that day. I’m never quite the same person, and the world is never quite the same world as it was the day before, so there is an endless sea of material to write about. The guys do a really good job of turning that into something sonically cohesive. During this writing cycle, we were listening to a lot of Lykke Li, The Weeknd, Coldplay, Nirvana, Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande and SZA, so there are bits and pieces of everything as far as influence goes.