Album Review: Superviolet – ‘Infinite Spring’

Posted: by The Editor

The opening track on Superviolet’s Infinite Spring races to its close with a jolt of energy from the repetition of “I only wanted it to end / falling idle again / crooning for cobwebs / and you caught me” over a timeless chord progression, hinting at the illusion that maybe we weren’t meant to hear these songs, but since we stumbled upon them, here they are. The shift from a period of idleness also echoes the record’s theme made clear in the title; this is an album imbued with the feeling of rebirth and revitalization that comes with the turning of winter to spring, the end of solitude and a re-emergence into the world.

Superviolet as a band is a bit of a rebirth itself, growing out of the ashes of The Sidekicks, with songwriter Steve Ciolek bringing along Matt Climer on drums and recruiting Saintseneca’s Zac Little to produce and add various instrumental flourishes to the record. The familiarity and comfort between the musicians is palpable, as everything on Infinite Spring goes down incredibly smoothly—so much so that you almost miss how strong Ciolek’s lyrics are on the first couple passes. His lyrical chops were always part of the draw of The Sidekicks’ feel-good indie rock, and on Infinite Spring he hits a perfect blend of wit and pathos, sprinkled with pockets of alliteration (the songs here function as “makeshift mantras,”pentatonic poetry,” and promises to clean the clock of some jagoff named “Trevor or whatever”). 

The record has an instinctive ebb and flow to it, as if the group was tapping into the rhythms of nature at the changing of seasons. After the opening rush of “Angels On The Ground” and “Blue Bower,” Superviolet pull back for two gorgeous acoustic tracks—the rambling, hypnotic “Big Songbirds Don’t Cry” and the candlelit “Good Ghost,” which finds Ciolek confessing “I’ve got a bookshelf of your prose / and when I look close at the cliff notes / it’s all your love letters in code.” “Dream Dating” is an endearing midtempo run of stream-of-consciousness connections, as a gift of “the fakest flowers to ever exist” leads to the thought “we got a garden and we grow our own / I keep the red one taped to the microphone.” When the barroom piano and otherwise unaccompanied vocals kick off “Long Drive,” the image of “crooning for cobwebs” from the opener comes back to mind. The track harmonizes with the overall ebb and flow of the record, growing into an expansive, choir-backed ballad before closing out in the quiet cobwebs where it started.

“Long Drive” marks a turning point, leading into a breathtaking four-song run to close out the record, starting with the boot-kicking sway of “Locket.” Musically, one of the record’s smoothest tracks, “Locket” also includes some of Ciolek’s best lines with the pairing of “how come all my troubles / turn into thought bubbles? / I’m a cartoon of myself on the screen” and “how come all my candor / just comes across as grandeur?  / I’m a locket with my own face in the frame” landing with a particular charm. Lead single “Overrater” again echoes the change to springtime, as the energetic acoustic pattern driving the tune makes it feel like the budding of the seed planted in “Angels On The Ground.” 

It’s followed by the title track, one of the record’s most intimate both musically and lyrically. “Infinite Spring” grows from Ciolek’s reflective musings on how his songs take shape before blasting the fuck off after he hits at the “realization that you’re not on you’re own.” The joy from that blastoff pauses for a bit in closer “Wave Back,” but by the time the tune transitions from a waterfall acoustic ballad to an explosive groove that’s undeniable as it is unexpected, it’s apparent that Ciolek does feel like dancing, and the final moments of Infinite Spring are ones of transformative ecstasy. Truly feeling like a rebirth, the record is aptly named on multiple levels, and anyone wallowing in a personal winter of discontent following The Sidekicks’ disbandment, should find a fount of rejuvenation in Superviolet’s Infinite Spring.

Disappointing / Average / Good / Great / Phenomenal

Infinite Spring is out everywhere on 4/21, with vinyl available via Lame-O-Records.

Aaron Eisenreich | @slobboyreject

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