Fresh Violet is an alt hip-hop artist from Naarm (Melbourne), and on Friday, she will release her second LP, Life of Vi, and we are stoked to be premiering it ahead of its release.
After her 2018 debut album, 50 Shades of Violet, Fresh Violet has gone up a gear in this latest release. Life of Vi is a rip-roaring listen. It’s packed with insightful lyrics, beautiful mixups of rap and electronic pop, infused with killer melodies and polished instrumentation. The album showcases all facets of the multi-hyphenated artist, who has production skills to add to her impressive range.
Ten tracks deliver stories of lessons learnt the hard way, observations on bad behaviour, humour, film and much more. The danceable “Run From You” is lush and gorgeous, switching between sweet harmonies and lyrics examining a relationship that didn’t work out.
The sass and humour of “Blade Runner” (‘Dance real weird like a Mr. Bean‘) is f-u-n. The incandescent energy of “Demeanour” will leave you wanting more. The confessional and kick-arse “Sad Boi”, with its sweet flowing melody, hard-hitting lyrics and intoxicating groove, is another favourite.
If you are in Naarm, then take advantage of the opportunity to catch Fresh Violet live on the 8th of October. She has assembled a formidable lineup of visual art, drag and burlesque acts for an album launch at The Bergy Bandroom. I’ve included the ticket links below.
You can pre-save Life of Vi HERE ahead of its release on Friday.
In the meantime, you can enjoy our exclusive premiere. And, whilst you are listening to this kick-arse album, read on. Fresh Violet has put together a track-by-track breakdown for the record. It’s a great read – insightful, honest and detailed. Crank up the volume and read on!
Fresh Violet – The Life of Vi – Track by Track
The Mess You Left
Opening with shimmering layers of violin, the first moments of Life of Vi are meant to sound like thick, red, velvet curtains slowly opening onto a stage. There’s something ethereal about this first song. The sparse production, fleshed out with strings and harp in combination with me singing and rap/singing throughout – I think it signals that this project is very different to my first album. A new blend of styles, with more melody woven in.
This track is meant to be a check in, to let anyone listening know where my head was at when I wrote the album. I think I dug deeper into my psyche than I ever have before, I cracked my brain and heart open and poured out all the thoughts that had been circling through my mind: hopes, fears, the general flavour of my mindset when I’m at rest and quiet. Very different to my past work where I am generally processing
raging emotions or cracking jokes. I’m proud to have accessed something more raw and vulnerable for the lyrics on this one. As the hook goes: “Don’t let a lot a people get inside my head”, I think this is my best effort yet at letting everyone in to take a look around.
This track is a walk out track for AFLW and boxing superstar Tayla Harris. I have been blessed to watch Tayla rise to superstardom – I was following way before “the kick”, her bronze statue and the dizzying heights her sporting career has reached. I got the early tip because we share the same hairdresser! We have both been long time clients of Unicorn Manes by Mykey, (possibly the most delightful person alive).
As soon as I heard about Tayla I felt inspired to write a walk out track for her, I’ve always wanted to write something like that because I love a good hype track, I love fighting sports and I love the relationship between rappers and fighters – there’s been so many classic pairings and crazy walkouts, I really wanted to do a female spin on it.
I put myself under a lot of pressure to get this track perfect because I knew Tayla was definitely going to hear it – I’ve never rewritten a song more times than this one. But the great news is, it absolutely slaps and Tayla digs it so the time spent agonising over it was worth it.
Run From You
This was the first track written for the album! I love that it’s got a dance feel pulsing through it. It keeps the mood upbeat despite the lyrics exploring a failed relationship. There is a running theme on the record documenting attempts for connection and intimacy while healing from trauma. It’s mostly messy but full of lessons.
I think these experiences are worth sharing because I had no idea of the underlying, long running impact trauma can have on connection – I thought you were supposed to just bounce back after a certain amount of time and get back on the horse, no worries. But you come out the otherside just a little different, and a lot of the differences can be subtle and way below the surface. Dynamics start playing out in these slippery, confusing ways that seem to get out of control no matter what you do.
You start bending over backwards to try and maintain stability. And a healthy connection feels like it would be the greatest medicine but it’s the furthest thing from your reach. It’s fascinating in a way… and I still don’t entirely understand it, but I do my best to document the intricacies of how it’s played out for me personally.
This was the first track released from the album – way back in February 2020, just before everything shut down for a solid two years. Not the greatest timing, but at least this is the kind of track that doesn’t get old. It was such a delight to work with Ninajirachi on this one, she is an absolute prodigy and our styles merged really well. The vibe is quirky, weird and cool. It’s all about feeling confident and empowered, I wrote it with myself as a kid in mind, it’s the message I would give the younger version of me if I could time travel.
Because the track is a sort of an antidote to my teen insecurities, it conjured up a lot of images of highschool for me. So when I was asked to make a film clip for it, I decided I wanted to recreate The Breakfast Club. I have recreated films for film clips before, on my first album I did Natural Born Killers and it was just so much fun. I love cinema and going through films frame by frame paying crazy attention to the costumes and props and the mannerisms and then putting myself into my favourite movies – ah it’s so satisfying and the finished product is so much fun to watch. I’m super proud of the level of detail I put into this film clip.
Easy to Say (feat. Darren Middleton)
This track is super special to me. I was very lucky to meet Darren Middleton at a gig back in 2019 and we hit it off instantly. Sometimes artists have an instinct on sight that there’s something there – like there’s a song already between you and it’s just a matter of uncovering it – it doesn’t happen to me often, but once every blue moon you meet someone and you just know. Plus, my family was obsessed with Powderfinger growing up – my mum painted the album cover of Vulture Street on a big canvas as a birthday present for my brother, I think it’s still hanging up actually – so I thought yes, finally my family will be proud of me, collaborating with the guitarist from Powderfinger!
Darren sent me an idea but we ended up writing from scratch together and got the bones of this track in place in one session. Finishing the track took much longer than planned and we had to work long distance through lockdown. Also brought Dom Cork, a long time collaborator of mine into the mix and persevered and saw it through. The track explores another confusing relationship and the genre is so undefinable. It’s so unique, I just love how it turned out.
This track has some levels to it. It’s got a really fresh, interesting beat and explores the tension between me and a crush. It describes the saucy, electric beginning stages when there is this huge pull between two people and it’s so obvious it’s almost embarrassing and so big you don’t quite know how to approach it. Plus, being biographical as ever, both parties are traumatised and aren’t fully equipped to just fall right into something. I feel like I captured a very specific, very nuanced moment of my life in such clear detail.
I also feel obliged to mention, this track is jam packed with easter eggs for the nerds. You don’t need to have seen Neon Genesis Evangelion to enjoy the song or follow the story, but if you have, you will have an extra layer of images and meanings suffused into the narrative. Or, you know what? Just go watch it now, it’s a classic.
This track is super raw – it’s just drums and me braggadocio rapping for two minutes straight. I originally pictured it as an interlude on the album… like a little street corner nonsense rap… but it took on a life of its own and has the most ridiculous film clip I have ever made. This track is just pure joy and jokes. The music video is a one-take in front of a green screen busting at the seams with the silliest special and practical effects I could dream up. Plus it features cameos from H.R. Pufnstuf and Mr. Bean. Worth a watch, I’d say!
Demeanour (feat. St.Bedlam)
Another hype track right here. This is the only track with a rap feature on it and St.Bedlam absolutely crushes it. It’s so brazen and full of energy, I can’t wait to perform this one live.
Ahhhhhhh, the backstory behind this song….. My goodness. Ok. I released my first album in 2018, and it’s a fun record but if you scratch the surface, you’ll quickly notice I’m processing some heavy topics and emotions as well.
I told myself, if I get the opportunity to make another record, it’s going to have some happier themes. (Cos I’ll be bounced back, good as new, back to normal any second, right?) Haha. And I did get offered an amazing opportunity: a friend was starting a new label and wanted to sign me for my second album! Very exciting, but you also talk a lot of business and go back and forth and get lawyers to look over everything before you sign, it’s a process – and then signing day is meant to be a little bit of a celebration. Bottle of bubbles not out of place – such an optimistic start of a new chapter.
So, when my contract was all finished being negotiated we had a meeting booked in with both lawyers and everyone involved to sign – exciting day – except I woke up to a text from my boyfriend breaking up with me!!! A guy who’d begged me to try and make long distance work, who then just woke up one day and decided it was too hard and he was done. On signing day of all days. So, I was weeping all day and a snotty, red-faced mess when I signed the deal. What a disaster. So, this is really the only truly NEGATIVE song on the album and something I was hoping to move away from, but damn, it’s part of the story of the Life of Vi and I wanted to really bare it all and tear shreds off this guy.
Left on Read
The closing track is another deep dive into my brain, it’s sort of a stylised rendering of my stream of consciousness. It creates a bookend to the first track, fluidly cycling through my desires, distractions and ponderings – I think you can hear me trying to tame my own mind as it keeps circling back to something it’s snagged on. It’s both an exploration of the contents of my heart and the whirlpool inside my skull. It’s
interesting to look back on because I’ve since been diagnosed with ADHD and this track – while being so sweet and positive and lovely is also – without my realising at the time, capturing a snapshot of my mental restlessness and me essentially losing the battle to focus as my thoughts keep returning to a romantic interest I’m trying to move on from.
I will also add that that is me playing the saxophone in the outro and the beautiful and talented NIINE singing and playing guitar. It’s a really peaceful, wistful ending to a special project – four years in the making! I’m so happy it’s finally coming out.
Before I sign off, I want to say a big thank you to Dom Cork who played such an important part in putting the album, he did the lion’s share of the production and engineered and mixed every track. And I would also like to say thank you to YOU for reading the story behind the songs of ‘Life of Vi’, I hope you enjoy the record!
Fresh Violet Album Launch
Oct 8th – The Bergy Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC – tickets HERE