Nina Violet | We'll Be Alright

Self-released (2011)
By JEREMY ADAMS  |  October 12, 2011
2.5 2.5 Stars

NV-M

As a solo artist, Martha's Vineyard native Nina Violet has been holding back. Once a member of Willy Mason's band, touring the US and UK with the likes of Radiohead and Beth Orton, she later released two solo LPs of Brit-tinged chamber-folk. But as a classically trained violist and string arranger, Violet seemed to long for a hybrid of band and orchestra, and We'll Be Alright gives her that opportunity. It's an experiment with mixed results: on one hand, "Stealing Flowers" achieves a rare pop elegance by combining vocals, guitar, cello, and autoharp. On the other, thornier songs such as "Play Loud" and "Fill the Well Up" require more work of the listener. Violet returns to her accessible, folk-rock persona on two cuts — live staple "Everything Comes Apart" and album closer "Run to the Stream" — and both offer direct, Elliott Smith–like connection, the latter deploying a whistle-happy chorus. These tracks serve as a reminder that Violet doesn't need to try so hard to augment or complicate her singer/songwriter style; her natural talents are sufficient.

NINA VIOLET + WILLY MASON + TALLAHASSEE | Radio, 379 Somerville Ave, Somerville | October 16 @ 9 pm | 21+ | $5

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