Madison Violet 'Self-Titled' - Passenger Sounds

This four track primer from a forthcoming new release shows Madison Violet in a new light. Firmly established as a duo in country/folk circles, this release sees the two stretch out into new territory. The opening song Under Fire, sounds like a Scissors Sisters track with the up-tempo beat and a celebratory, sing-along chorus.

We get a similar feel with These Ships which rocks out in a style that shows a new commercial leaning, complete with brass and string arrangement. Operator is a hit single, if ever I heard one, driving along with a song structure that hints of dance-floor mayhem.

Finishing with Trouble, this  new direction could hint at exactly that, with loyal fans disappointed and the risk of losing supporters along the way. However, I applaud Madison Violet for exploring a new direction and even if this sounds somewhat over-produced in parts, there is no doubting the two fine talents at play here.

Madison Violet 'The Good In Goodbye' - True North

This Canadian duo have gained not just fans but awards with their folk-pop, dream-country blend that is focused around their close vocal harmonies and song-writing skills. Producer and multi-instrumentalist Les Cooper has upped the stakes on this fuller sounding album that layers subtle musical textures together to create something that easily rewards repeated listening.  Fallen By The Wayside opens with some familiar lyrics before revealing a song of a love lost in transit, it is a song they co-wrote with Ron Sexsmith and marks a meeting of kindred spirits and an album highpoint. The title track sets out to fathom the silver lining in a break-up. The one non-original song is the traditional Cindy Cindy and they give a uptempo fiddle and banjo led take on which takes them closer to the wellspring of the music that has played an influence on their musical make-up. Christy Ellen Francis also takes a more stripped down approach with the two voice guitar and harmonica being its only constituent parts. Madison Violet are team players too playing a range of instruments on the album themselves alongside the talented players featured. Lisa MacIsaac and Brenley Mac Eachern have the sound of siblings though they are just siblings in musical spirit and are making music that makes them out as something special. Come As You Are with it's harmonica motif and strong overall harmonies is an album highlight on this their fourth album. The sound may in fact be a tad to soft for some and the songs that stand-out the most are the ones that have a little more edge lyrically or musically. But overall Madison Violet are exploring their musical parameters and giving their fans something to savour as they do so.