It’s time to join the ‘Witchunt’ with Violet Moons

violet moons indie musicIn the vast array of music that fills our social media feed from Instagram to TikTok, it takes a lot these days to make you stop scrolling and pay attention. But that’s exactly what happened to me one random day on Instagram when I was shown a live performance of Violet Moons covering Nirvana. 

“Who are these girls?” I thought. Quickly clicking on their Instagram page I learned that the Nashville duo declared themselves a female psychedelic indie band and had a debut album out. I listened to popular tracks from their album Moments Fleeting and was entranced. There are two major tracks that I immediately fell in love with on the album, WitcHunt, and False Prophet. Both tracks showcase airy harmonies with a take on a variety of musical influences and are laced with feminine empowerment. 

Having been captivated by Violet Moons’ music, I had to reach out and was gratefully able to speak with the duo. Aubree Riley (folk guitarist/vocalist) and Kierra Bronson (keys/vocalist) met in October 2020 after becoming roommates. As it were, the girls never really planned on forming a band, “…it happened super organically. We started experimenting with harmonies and showing each other some of our own originals, and before we knew it we had a band.”  

In Violet Moons’ album, Moments Fleeting, you can certainly hear that experimentation with harmonies and it pays off. If you listen carefully, you might hear influences of singers like Lana Del Rey or vocally Stevie Nicks, but when I asked Aubree and Kierra about their influences, I found out it was so much more extensive than that. 

“We’re inspired by lots of different types of music, and we both come from different musical backgrounds. Some of the tracks have more of a rock influence like Nirvana and 90s grunge, and others have more of an ethereal psychedelic feel,” they said. So maybe that’s why their music is so unique to the ear, sure, you can hear a bit of Lana Del Rey in one track but in the next track, you may hear inspirations from Hole and Bikini Kill. Kierra adds, “I took a lot of inspiration from Beach House, Radiohead, and Crumb.” While Aubree listed some powerful feminist punk bands in her arsenal, “I grew up loving 90s rock, and riot girl bands. I took a lot of inspiration from Nirvana . . . I also come from a folk background, so I’m constantly inspired by songwriters such as John Prine and Townes Van Zandt.”

With that much variety of musical inspiration and the talented forces within Aubree and Kierra, it’s no surprise that songs like WitcHunt can make you stop and pay attention.

WitcHunt starts with weighty drums that quickly lead into showcasing the airy harmonies of Kierra and Aubree. By the time you get to the bridge, you’re met with a guitar that is softly psychedelic and slowly builds…this all leads to one of my favorite lyrics from the album. “I’ll never be who you want me to be.”  When it’s all said and done, isn’t this something we can all relate to? I asked Kierra and Aubree what they felt WitchHunt was about. 

Kierra said, “WitcHunt to me, is about gaining confidence again after a dark period of life. It’s a song that serves as a revelation, and taking the power back from that time.” And Aubree added, “WitcHunt was the second song that Kierra and I wrote together, and it was when we started to take a deep dive into songwriting together. It’s a song about epiphanies, realizations, and new chapters.” 

My next favorite track is False Prophet, which is quite different from WitcHunt when it comes to how it sounds and the melody. For instance, you know that 90s influence Aubree mentioned earlier? Well, this is one of the times you’ll hear it. This rock-influenced track is heavier in structure and showcases the raw emotion of Aubree and Kierra’s voices in the verses. While in the choruses, you get to hear their harmonies shine. With its ebbs and flows, this drum-heavy rock song illustrates Violet Moons’ ability to diversify the album while still focusing on female empowerment lyrically. 

Kierra and Aubree said that for them, False Prophet is about, “…someone with a God complex, who’s good with manipulation and words to get what they want. This song’s about growing numb to those kinds of people.” And if you’ve ever had someone like that in your life, this is an indie psych-rock song you’ll appreciate. 

So what’s next for Violet Moons? “We’ll be touring soon, and playing more out-of-town shows. We have a few festivals coming up, Possumstock and Spoopyfest in Tennessee, and Phase Seven Festival in southern Indiana. We’re looking forward to new songs, and sharing them in Nashville and other places as well.” 

So what was it about that live performance that made me stop scrolling? Was it the lights that cascaded the girls as they sang? Was it their cover of Nirvana? Or was it their cool bright psychedelic Instagram pictures that made me click on their Spotify link? Honestly, I think it’s all of those things! What makes an artist wonderful and successful (at least in my eyes) is their ability to do something that’s not quite been done before. And Violet Moons ARE DOING THAT. Violet Moons are taking the indie-psych genre and making it their own. Kierra and Aubree said to me, “We both have deep passions for songwriting, and making music that people can connect to. We’re constantly inspired by themes of feminism, and it continues to reflect in the music that we write. It’s important that we stay true to ourselves while also consistently growing and developing as musicians and people.”

These words are evident in Violet Moons’ songwriting and in their music, and because of that, I think we’ll only continue to see Violet Moons soar.

Violet Moons website

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