top of page
  • stephcurran

Let’s Spend Saturday Night In: With Violet Releases 3 Track Teaser for Upcoming EP

Creating with other artists isn’t always the easiest process. From differing tastes in genre, multiple opinions about the overall goal of the project, to the ability for artists to let go of their ideas and let them grow and transform with input from others, there are many factors that can stall or hinder a group from reaching their full potential. But when artists can come together and openly explore the limits of what they can do, magic can happen. This magic can be heard in the music of St. John’s band With Violet.


With Violet, consisting of five multi-talented musicians, is an East Coast alt/pop band from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Forming in 2018, and reforming with their current line up in 2021, the band has made quite a name for themselves. From performances at festivals like Iceberg Alley and Best Kind Barbeque, to radio play, even a handful of Music NL nominations, With Violet has established their place in the vast music community in Newfoundland and Labrador, and beyond.

In 2021, With Violet released their debut album titled Long Story Short. This album, consisting of 6 songs, shows not only the quality of music these musicians can turn out, but how their sound can be stretched in many musical directions. From jazz influence, to their insanely catchy pop riffs, With Violet is a band that knows who they are and what music they want to create. Long Story Short was a great debut for the band, with over 3000 streams on Spotify, 2 MusicNL nominations, and can even be heard during East Coast Hockey League games at St. John’s Mary Browns Centre. With tracks like Give My Heart Away and Asking For, With Violet’s first album shows just how prepared this band is to continue to explore and push the boundary of their sound.

The band consists of 5 members, all who have extensive experience and knowledge when it comes to their instruments and music overall. Together, Sarah Newell (vocals, keyboard, saxophone), Pete (vocals & keyboards), Matthew Cadigan (guitar), Spencer FitzGerald (bass), and Hunter Madden (drums), share a cohesive musicality that is infused into every song they turn out. From their intricate fills, to the flow of their compositions, With Violet emulates the magic that can happen when people with great minds and passion come together to create.


Saturday Nights In is a collection of 3 tracks, providing fans with a little taste of what can be expected from the band's next EP, which will be released this Fall. Staying true to what With Violet does best, these songs explore just how fluid these musicians can be, highlighting the magic that lies in their melodies.


Saturday Nights In starts off with an upbeat, almost Silk Sonic-esque vibe, track titled Keep Up. This track is a classic With Violet song, transitioning through feelings and pace, taking listeners on a mini roller coaster, with waves of transition throughout the song. These waves push the song forward with a continuous fresh feel, hooking on to listeners to be invested the entire time. At surface level is just a fun song that makes you want to move, but peeling back the pieces of the song, you can tell that With Violet really plays with the overall journey of music. With a steady, driving rhythm section, accompanied by light and airy elements from the piano, guitar, and vocals, this song is organized, but with elements of polished creative chaos. How many places can a song take us? A lot, according to With Violet!

The second track on Saturday Nights In, Gravity, is another movement driven piece that forces you to tap your foot on the floor or bop your head to the bass line. Again, as we see a lot in the band's music, they show their ability to maneuver a song through many worlds and emotions, creating a unique experience for listeners while showcasing their classic groove. Gravity is a classic upbeat pop song, with the main riff reminding me of some of Katy Perry’s top pop radio hits, with the addition of those awesome musical buttons layered on top of the rhythm. The main vocals by PETE not only shows the range of the vocalist, but how much emphasis can be created by timing within a vocal line. Choices like the vocal line wrapping around the backing vocals in the chorus, creating a callback like response, or even the more soft, moment of calm like line just before the chorus, all make this song a hit.

One aspect of With Violet that makes me genuinely enjoy their music is the use of the saxophone by Sarah Newell. Obviously on Keep Up and Gravity, more dance driven songs, the saxophone comes in and just adds to the mixing rhythms to make your body want to move, but it’s on songs like The Things You Didn’t Say that really showcases the importance of each instrument in enhancing the overall experience. Just a quick melody filling the space between verse and chorus, the saxophone in The Things You Didn’t Say creates emotional movement, causing the song to really stand out in comparison to the other two tracks on Saturday Nights In, without it ever feeling like it’s out of place or added for “fun”. It has a purpose, and I think that is the case with each instrument that shows up in a With Violet song.

If I'm being honest, when I first listened to the EP, The Things You Didn’t Say threw me a little. I was having the time of my life on Keep Up and Gravity, and the introduction to a slower paced song took a moment of adjustment. It was when I had a second listen through that I realized how even with a slower paced song, With Violet has a way of tying in elements, weaving a map or blueprint of who they are, which really draws listeners in. It reminded me of listening to Phil Collins, a classic like I Wish It Would Rain Down or Another Day In Paradise, with a more simplified sound compared to other tracks, but the emotional energy and lyrical journey really at the forefront. After a few listens, it has become one of my favourite of With Violet’s tracks.


That’s the beauty of exploring new music. There are so many things to discover when listening to a new song or a new band that you haven’t explored before. Some may think I am overly positive when it comes to the music I review, and for the most part, it’s because I think saying a song or album is either “good” or “bad” subjectively is boring. Instead, I always try to find the why; Why are they making the choices they’re making? Why did this song come out this way? Why did they slow down here? In the case of With Violet, I believe that their "why” is truly to push the limits of what they can create together. Their “why” is to not only create fun, upbeat songs, but to share their passion and love for music with each other, allowing ideas to be expanded and built upon, rather than just settling on something that may be easier. They don't take the quick way, they want to push the boundaries of genre, of what they can create together.

There are a lot of things about music that inspire creativity within me, and With Violet is a band that I believe can really inspire people to make music, or express themselves with their own creativity. You can hear the chemistry within the group just from listening to the tracks, which isn’t always an easy thing to achieve with recorded music. They are having fun when making this music, and you will have fun when you listen to it. What more could you want?

While you wait for With Violet’s upcoming EP, you can get a sneak peak by listening to Saturday Nights In, and you can check out their first EP Long Story Short on Spotify.



bottom of page