As of late, the masses seem ready to voraciously snap up all the nouveau folk pop they can get their hands on. Why? I have no idea, but I’m guessing it has something to do with our collective nostalgia for that weird period in the nineties when Nashville kept dropping country-pop crossover shit all around us, and we all really digged it. Obviously. No matter the reason, See Green’s release for their newest EP, Violet, could not be better timed for the scene. Unfortunately, while the EP’s sincerity is palpable, it becomes clear early on that the band still needs to hash out some specifics. We are ready for eclectic mixes of bluegrass and pop and folk — the sort See Green are definitely capable of — but the pop ska-influenced musical they end up with misses the mark.

 

Intro single, “Goldmine,” sets the tone for the project, but it’s a tone that will confuse you. Lead-off tracks are normally supposed to bait the listener, to lure us into the rest of the album, while staying true to the band’s signature characteristics and appealing to as wide an audience as possible. In this case, the song’s almost cartoonish rock melody under lead vocalist Courtenay Green’s sliding vocals leaves one fearful to continue.

It isn’t until middle track, “Get What I Want,” that the band begins to clarify what they are all about. With a determined beat and melody much better suited for Green’s voice, it’s less like you mentally transitioned into some kind of Disney cartoon montage movie reel, and more like you’re just really excited for a catchy pop song.

After minimal online digging, you’ll find “Devil In The Details” landed the privilege of being the EP’s first music video. And after listening to this song about 300 times, I have no idea why they chose this particular song, or if I even still carry an opinion about it. I do know they use some kind of instrument that sounds like you were out back cutting your tree down, only to take a breather and shake your saw around in the wind for a bit. See Green were hiding in your yard, recording that.

If you listen to any of the album, finale track, “Fade Away”, should not be missed. The autoharp is perfect under Green’s voice, that this time around is less pop and much more folk. Raspy, gentle, and sweetly twangy, saving the best for last was no joke for See Green. While the melody is no more complex than the rest of the songs, here it feels natural — as if all the stresses of putting this project together was lost for one track, and they let go. While I would not recommend knocking down the elderly and puppies to grab your copy of Violet, I would say: purchase “Fade Away”, and throw it on your iPod. One day this summer when you’re late-night unwinding, it might just hit.

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