EP: The Violet Kind – ‘OXTR’

Scotland is alive with the sound of The Violet Kind and their captivating new EP, OXTR.

The EP consists of four songs, conceptually challenging variations on the theme of rape culture, which ties in pretty tightly to the uprising of the #MeToo movement. A movement that, sadly, has divided gender politics more than it has united them. Still, the face that, through it, women have stuck together, will continue to stick together, and to step up and speak up for each other, has been monumental.

Not all bands confront these sorts of politics head on, and some that do who may be chart-orientated manage to whilst stepping around it, but The Violet Kind veer far from making vague statements: their songs were made to create a story, and that’s exactly why OXTR has to be experienced in order.

Front-woman Katya Mansell’s aim to highly regard survivors of the globally flawed system is shown. In lyrics like “you will save his life as she goes through hell” and “tell me who you’d rather protect?” (both from second track, ‘Good Behaviour’) Mansell confronts the apologists and law-makers directly. With the accompaniment of bright backing guitar riffs in the indie-vein of Vampire Weekend and the rolling drums of Ra Ra Riot — courtesy of band members Liam Duffy (bass) and Kyle Hamilton (drums) — Good Behaviour (and OXTR as a release) is as catchy as it is a message to those who don’t listen.

While it tells a story, the tracks differ from one another musically. The aching ‘Speakeasy’ heads into ‘Good Behaviour’, which fades into a calmer ‘Coffee and Contemplation’ that sounds like good thoughts over shitty coffee in a local greasy spoon the morning after. From there, closing track ‘Science’ ends the EP with a simple statement – “the truth cannot be altered/take time to practice self-love” – and a thundering crescendo of class.

If you love indie with meaning, listen to The Violet Kind’s OXTRAnd when I say listen, do.

OXTR is out now on Kindness Records.

Em Burfitt

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