Know Who's Next: The Alt Pop X Factor Of Transviolet
  • MONDAY, JANUARY 25, 2016

  • Posted by: Don Saas

Once, when I was interviewing New York/NC/Denmark alt-rockers Ex Cops, we had a conversation about bands that were "one big commercial placement from breaking out." It's a thing that happens more often in indie music than you'd realize. Chairlift were in a now famous iPod commercial. Beach House got ripped off by a car ad. X Ambassadors have become the unofficial voice of Jeep. And as soon as I heard "New Bohemia" by Transviolet in a Google Android commercial, I knew they were about to be another band to add to that list.



There's an X factor in pop music that I talk about on here a lot. It's an X factor for a reason too. If I knew precisely what it was, I'd be Max Martin and I'd be writing/producing pop smashes for Taylor Swift, Ellie Goulding, and the Weeknd. That's the commercial X factor. There's the artistic pop X factor as well. Grimes has got it. Carly Rae Jepsen found it on her last record. And whether it's the former X factor or the latter, Transviolet found something undeniably special on their self-titled debut.

I predict Transviolet taking over the indie pop space in the next six months in a major way. With their combination of electronic pop, an almost hip-hop approach to lyrical delivery, and bombastic dance-hall beats, Transviolet represent an accessible distillation of some of the biggest trends of the alternative hip-hop space in the last couple years. The vocals are Ellie Goulding filtered through Lorde's "Royals," and the production is Chvrches with an industrial pop spin.



Every year at Bonnaroo, they put up a special DJ area called the Silent Disco. It's exactly what it sounds like. They give you headphones and DJs (which in years past have included everyone from DJ Jazzy Jeff to Passion Pit's Michael Angelakos to Foster the People's Mark Foster) play music for folks to dance to with the headphones on. And something tells me that the sight of a couple hundred folks dancing to Transviolet would be a real sight to see this year at the Farm.

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