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The Violet Hour

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iTunes Review

This British retro-pop band captures a beautiful rainy-season melancholia that recalls both the early works of Marianne Faithfull and Francoise Hardy and their Scottish modern-day brethren Belle & Sebastian. Singer Alasdair MacLean wraps his troubles in reverb and comes up with beautifully imagistic tone poems that lean harder on atmosphere than outright pop hooks. Their debut, Suburban Light, was a collection of lo-fi singles; they captured an innocence the group manages to maintain here despite their more professional focus. There's a peculiar longing and even nostalgia to these gentle, slow-moving pieces. "When You and I Were Young" and "Missing" form a gorgeous fog that glazes over lost love and lost years. Guitars swirl and suggest, while the rhythms shuffle and wander the countryside. No one is supposed to truly understand what MacLean is singing on "House on Fire," as his voice moves from a whisper to a croon (though the band's website provides lyrics for the curious). This is music of great mystery, of a bracing beauty that sneaks up on you over time. 

Customer Reviews

T-Bro says Hello!!!

It is wonderful falling in love, something I haven't done since Radiohead hit me over the head 8 years ago. Very simply, this is the best alt pop in years. I hesitate to use the word pop, because this is thoughtful stuff. I can't stop listening to it. It is totally different. I would say it reminds me of Luna, The Velvet Underground, Dylan, the Beatles and Radiohead all rolled into one, but that wouldn't do it justice. This band has its own sound. Don't bother selecting a few tracks, buy the album. You won't be sorry. And there's more! The other work is great as well. THANK YOU CLIENTELE FOR GIVING ME SOMETHING I CAN PLAY OVER AND OVER AGAIN!


Violet Hour is a decent album, calm and relaxing. Not in the same level with Suburban Light but is way better than Strange Geometry. Then again, listening to The Clientele is like refelecting on life (past, present and future) experiences about friendship, interest, and who you associate(d) with.


I discovered the Clientele just recently while having a french pressed coffee at of course a coffee shop on a rainy day. How perfect to discover the Clientele on such a day. Their music has me mellow and reflecting on my 20s and who I was and where I was. The music created is atmospheric, mellow and beautiful and reminds me of a happier Mazzy Star with a male voice. Great music to chill with while reading, studying or just relaxing and reflecting over a cup of coffee.


Formed: 1997 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Retrofitted pop band the Clientele had obvious roots in the hazy, autumnal glare of Galaxie 500 and Felt. Just as those bands took their Velvet Underground and Television records to heart without being derivative, the Clientele were able to chalk up an extensive discography riddled with lush melodies of their own without sounding like a tribute band. Think of your favorite '60s pop band and odds are they're in the Clientele's blood. The London-based band formed in mid-1997, consisting of Alasdair...
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