HIDING, MINGLING, out 8/14/12 on Normaltown Records
OK, facts first:
White Violet is four young men from Athens, GA. Their names are Vaughan Lamb, Brad Elliott, Josh McCauley and Nate Nelson. Their debut album for Normaltown Records is named Hiding, Mingling. Nelson has been writing songs for ten years and already has releases out there under his own name. Everything on Hiding, Mingling originated as “Nate Nelson” songs.
But it didn’t end that way. This is White Violet. It’s less a traditional band than an idea: a practical construct within which each composition has its edges erased, its bluntness buffered and its ghosts more elegantly shrouded.
“When I look around/It seemed clearer before…”
– “White Wash”
That one lyric from the lead track could sum up the whole experience of Hiding, Mingling. Even the album’s title betrays the pushmi-pullyu nature of these songs. There’s bliss in their claustrophobia, sweetness to their defensive sneer and a commonality to their singularity.
You could play Hiding, Mingling in the daytime, I suppose. But I don’t know why you would. To do that would be akin to listening with one ear open. This is night music. This is the sound of one heart beating.
It’s not sing along; it’s sing alone.
Are you pressed for time? Up against a deadline? OK. Feel free to talk about Hiding, Mingling in terms of dreamy, echo-y Americana, new acoustic sincerity, woods-n-desert landscaped, etc. You wouldn’t be 100% incorrect but you’d be missing most of it.
This isn’t a record for everyone; it’s for the tired fighters, the weary and romantic. It’s for those who struggle between breathing in new life and exhaling a sigh.
If you’ve never been resigned into the necessity of isolation, struggled to make sense, or tried like hell to hold onto hope against all reasonable odds, then you might not get it.
The rest of you, well, you can put out the lights. You can open a window and lie on the floor. With Hiding, Mingling on the stereo you’ll drift into that peculiar half-sleep where this life’s anxiety keeps you fitful until, at last, you succumb to the comfort that only dreams await.