Today marks the official debut of the band Hey Violet with the release of their five-song EP titled, I Can Feel It. This four-piece band, consisting of sisters Rena Lovelis (lead singer/bassist) and Nia Lovelis (drummer), alongside band members Miranda Miller (guitarist/keyboardist), and Casey Moreta (guitarist), started to gain recognition this year from touring with the boy band 5 Seconds of Summer on their Rock Out With Your Socks Out Tour. Hey Violet is a fresh start for the Lovelis’ and Miller since these three had previously been ¾ of the band Cherri Bomb, which disbanded in 2013 with the departure of lead singer/lead guitarist Julia Pierce. After the near three-year gap between the end of Cherri Bomb and the beginning of Hey Violet, I have been anxious and intrigued to hear what the three remaining members, plus Moreta, had hidden up their sleeves. That being said, the past is the past, now let’s focus on the future with Hey Violet as I review their debut EP I Can Feel It.
Title track “I Can Feel It” starts the EP off on a happy note, with joy, giddiness, and anticipation being conveyed through Rena’s voice, perfectly capturing the initial feelings you start to develop for a special someone; a feeling that, when it reappears, is all too familiar while being oddly foreign at the same time. This feeling stays consistent through the whole song, not wavering a second in Rena’s vocals or the bands instrumentation with “the feeling” being expressed full force through the catchy chorus, which will be stuck in my head as I continue listening to the EP.
Continuing on with this same theme, “Smash Into You“ depicts the band not only capturing this “feeling”, but also unapologetically summoning it, reaching out to grab it with their bare hands. With open arms, they are willing to take the risk of not only welcoming the possible positive feelings, but also the possible negative feelings that might be attached to jumping head first into this relationship. By doing this, they are testing the waters early to be insured that what they are stepping into is real, and authentic instead of wasting their time in a surface level relationship.
Amongst all of the commotion, “Sparks Fly” is rightfully placed in the middle to temporarily slow down the pace of the EP, and begins to shift moods. As the listener is met with the simplistic sound of an acoustic guitar, Rena’s voice matches the simplicity by offering a soft, high-pitched vocal to accompany it, revealing to the listener a softer side of the band. Through this, the listener immediately picks up on the reminiscent tone of the song, with the band looking back at the feelings they portrayed in the first two songs, coming to the realization that they are faced with two options, saying, “When the dark tries swallowing our light, we can fade or try to make this right.” This line floods memories back into their minds, unleashing both powerful vocals and instrumentation, creating a medium in sound, to reveal that they don’t want to let go of the relationship because that would also mean letting go of the unfamiliar, powerful emotions that had begun to spark inside of them.
The indecisiveness in the last song diminishes with “Can’t Take Back the Bullet,” which proves to be the last straw in the relationship, with the band not allowing themselves to be blinded by conflicting emotions, but instead, to do what’s best for themselves by walking away. The relaxed beat and tone serve as a nice contrast to the fierce lyrics. Also, the band chanting the repeated verse along with a simple kick drum in the bridge reminds me of the bridge in Paramore’s “That’s What You Get” which served as a nice dose of nostalgia.
The EP then comes to a close with “You Don’t Love Me Like You Should,” a nice companion to the previous song. Everything from the grungy guitars, and the fabulous growl Rena lets out in the chorus go along perfectly with the bold, but straight to the point message of the song. The EP comes full circle from the first to last song since both are extremely catchy and upbeat, but in two different ways that conflict in emotion.
Overall, I Can Feel It is a catchy pop-punk EP that serves as a fun listen. This might be a light EP, but after all, it is the debut EP, and the band has plenty of time to hone and craft their sound as a band. That being said, I am eager to see and hear what Hey Violet will offer in the future, which seems to be bright. I have given I Can Feel It by Hey Violet three-and-a-half stars out of five.
I Can Feel It is available now here.