“Young,” the newest single by Chicago-area Violet Crime, may just save a relationship or two.
As the indie-popsters have been releasing songs from the upcoming “Paper Queen” EP (dropping June 14), Jeff Mills and Selina Doran have been discussing with us the threads weaving through Mills’ songwriting.
“I think it’s important to write honestly and say ‘I have flaws and I do (expletive) things to others and myself sometimes,’” said Geneva’s Mills, one of the band’s dual lead vocalists.
The previously released tracks have explored connections built on flawed perceptions. The band’s newest song, “Young,” premiering as an in-studio performance video here and a single Thursday, examines a relationship crumbling and the role adulthood plays in our ability (or, in some cases, inability) to pursue happiness with others.
The video showcases Mills and Doran playing with richly layered vocals and striking harmonies in the studio as the band — rounded out by Geneva’s Tom Goier on guitar, Mundelein’s Kevin Nagel on drums and bass from Kasey Gandham, of Albany, New York — performs the dreamy folk- and blues-inspired instrumentals.
The song, both gorgeous and sad, was inspired by “Love,” a sculpture presented at the Burning Man music and art festival in 2015 by Ukraine artist Alexandr Milov.
The work of art is a wire construction depicting two people sitting back to back, seemingly frustrated with one another. Inside the two are smaller glowing statues of children, reaching out to one another.
“What it said to me is as we grow up and grow older, we have egos, and those egos get in the way of communication, being able to actually connect with each other,” Mills said. “But really deep down, that innocence, that inner child, just wants to connect. And I think if people would bring that part of themselves forward more often, we’d be happier and have better relationships. The song is about what happens when we don’t. It’s highlighting all the toxic behaviors that are associated with that.”
Passive-aggressive behavior. Drinking through problems. A refusal to grow beyond what was into what is. The song, while cynically holding a mirror up to some of man’s worst demons, ironically was what brought the band together.
“After I joined, Jeff said ‘Hey, I really want to write a song that plays to your musical background,’” Doran said. “He wrote the song and brought it to me. ‘Young’ is one of my favorite songs on the EP. It’s just a really beautiful song, and I’m really happy Jeff wrote it.”
As am I.
Violet Crime celebrates the release of the “Paper Queen” EP Saturday, June 29, at Bottom Lounge (1375 W. Lake St., Chicago), along with Johari Noelle, Bright Kid and Holly, and students from the Intonation Music, which the band is supporting through a partnership with Play Together through Kickstarter.