Saturday, August 11, 2018

Violent Bloom - Not Anything

Every once in a while I like to expand my ear just beyond Detroit, whether that's Lansing or Kalamazoo, or maybe Windsor. But I can't forget about Toledo, Ohio! Toledo's got it's own scene and it feels like a cousin to us, at times, since lots of our city's artists will make sure to stop there on tour, just as Violent Bloom makes sporadic appearances to perform here in Detroit or Hamtramck.

This piano/bass/drum trio just released their latest EP, Not Anything:

Their specialty is subtlety. Expressive basslines weave and wave above minimalist percussive arrangements that are nevertheless effectively-swaying and pulsing; but that bass rhythm is like the sonic oreo cream, above the supportive drums but humming beneath the intricate piano and lead vocals. The players, I should say at this point, are Kelly Thompson on drums, piano, and vocals, Jon Zens on bass, and Kate Kokonecki on piano, drums, and vocals.

The voices of Kokonecki and Thompson can reach ballad levels, but also pare back to whispering lullabies. It's a bluesy Americana as much as it's a jazzy-folk thing... My quickest reference points would be to draw back to the strongly-charactered creations of Quix*o*Tic, Beth Orton, or even Cat Power. But you can hear that for yourself on their newest EP--which you can check out at their Bandcamp. No Michigan dates yet, but stay tuned via their Facebook page for updates.

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