Author: Melody Menu
Welcome to the Killer Female Talent Spotlight: a monthly column dedicated to shining a greater light on female and gender non-conforming artists in the music industry.
Violet is the haunting incarnation of Sydneysider Jessica Meier, whose latest single ‘BOXES/HOUSES’ examines in gritty detail the suffocating nature of modern existence. Grimey and distorted beats accompany Meier’s commanding vocals, which take aim at the petty insignificances of daily life, from a consumerist obsession with ‘things’, to the corrupting influence of technology on our collective attention spans. As the track builds, the repetition and choral overdubs become relentless; a spiralling of controlled chaos. The Lynchian film clip for the track is a cinematic collage of everyday suburban living – twisting and skewing the subject matter to unrecognisable and nightmarish proportions.
Up-and-comer Meier talks us through the track and video, while also commenting on her love of art and cinema, and the importance of these to her work.
How did your solo project come about?
I guess I started making music that I wanted to listen to. I’m a big fan of darker pop/alternative music, and so I think that was how I started shaping the ‘Violet’ project.
How would you describe your music?
Dark cinematic pop.
Tell us a little about the track ‘BOXES/HOUSES’, and the video?
‘BOXES/HOUSES’ is a song about a terrifyingly mundane suburban life, full of repetition and numbness that you can’t escape.
Through the video we explored this idea of suburban entrapment even more. Jessica Vincenza who directed the video took great inspiration from ‘Rear Window’ by Alfred Hitchcock, Kubrick, and many others. We shot all the scenes either at dawn or dusk so that there’s no visible sunlight, which I think really plays with the sense of time in the video, and the idea that people are living the same thing over and over.
How has your setting of Sydney influenced the track, if at all?
I feel like the track really is applicable to any sort of ‘modern’ life – whether it be suburbia, in an apartment block or in a more rural area. Humans are super habitual, and I guess it’s that repetitiveness I’m talking about in the song. I don’t think I was influenced by Sydney in a particular way, but I’m sure it subconsciously had some influence!
You’re curating an exhibition to coincide with your single release – what does this fusion of art and music mean to you?
Visual art means a lot to me – whenever I create music, I end up creating zines, collages, videos and other visual things to accompany the song. I find the relationship between music and art very natural.
Who are some of your musical and cinematic heroes?
I’m a huge fan of Lana Del Rey, Florence + The Machine, Sevdaliza & Portishead – I feel like all of these artists have shaped my sound quite dramatically. Visually, I love the work of David Lynch and Tracey Moffatt is definitely my favourite Australian artist.