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Album Review

With male/female duos spreading like a rash in the field of ambient pop throughout the late '90s, it's difficult to avoid cynicism upon hearing of yet another act that blends "the sultry cool of the female singer" and "the production of the man behind the scenes." But when you think of how many four-piece guitar bands are formed on a daily basis by a group of guys, you realize that it's rather assuming to be so judgmental. That's not the only unfair obstacle Violet Indiana faces. The man behind the scenes in this case, Robin Guthrie (ex-Cocteau Twins), has had his skills intrinsically linked with one of the most distinct voices in alternative music for over 15 years (Liz Fraser). Fomer Mono vocalist Siobhan deMare is no Liz Fraser, but no one can lose points for that. And thankfully Guthrie has no intention of repeating himself, which is apparent with the duo's first EP. Guthrie's familiar, fainting echo swells of guitar easily separate Violet Indiana from the rest of the chromosomal peers. He's changed his pitch up enough such that you don't expect his former bandmate to kick in during the beginning of "Busted," the best of the small batch here. There's no denying that deMare is incredibly gifted, showing ability to whisper and belt it out with seemingly little effort. With this debut EP, the duo places themselves near the head of the class in short order.

Choke - EP, Siobhan De Mare
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