It’s funny that Tessa Violet’s debut album is called Bad Ideas, especially because it’s full of good ones. The one-time YouTube star has created a collection of elastic, jubilant pop that’s going to sound great anytime you play it this quarantine summer.
After a breezy, lo-fi acoustic intro, the album truly gets started with the shifty candy-coated goodness of “Crush”. Full of blips, beeps and dancing keys, Violet has created a catchy track that’s light on its feet but playful and pure fun. The album’s title track is punctuated by choral fills and a call and response chorus where Violet sings about someone who she probably shouldn’t talk to - but really wants to anyway. It’ll lodge itself in your brain for weeks.
“Games” sounds like it’s built on breathy samples, glassy synths, and dry percussion. It creeps forward slowly before it blows up into plumes of colorful smoke when it hits the chorus that admonishes a former lover. Despite the subject matter, Violet’s voice changes key, while a chorus returns, lifting her higher and higher. For a song that starts as low key and dark as it did, it ultimately is a song that sounds like triumph. “Words Ain’t Enough” is an acoustic ballad that borrows Beatleseque harmonies, while “Bored” hits like a pop-punk song at half speed. This is absolutely a credit to it.
Bad Ideas is a really fun record that deserves repeat listens. Tessa Violet has a knack for creating songs with soundscapes that mesh perfectly with her personality, talent, and energy. If records she makes going forward are this good, then there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be hearing her everywhere. One can hope.
- Brendan Hilliard, Obviate Media
This review was written by Brendan Hilliard, of Obviate Media. Obviate Media is a Chicago-based blog covering music and pop culture. Check them out, here: Obviate Media.