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Synthpop Single Review: "Water" by Infra Violet

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.

Synthpop Single Review: "Water" by Infra Violet

Synthpop Single Review: "Water" by Infra Violet

My Review of "Water" by Infra Violet

Infra Violet’s extended single Water combines emotive, powerful vocal and guitar performances by singer/lyricist/guitarist Bethany Munroe with Toby Campen’s full, sweeping and energetic synth work to create interesting, enjoyable synth pop.

“Water” starts with a deep upwelling of bass that comes in slightly rough-edged pulses along with a shining keyboard melody. Bethany Munroe’s emotional and expressive voice comes in carrying the strong, empowering vocal melody. High synths come shimmering in as the drums rebound and add their own pulse to the rich, full background.

At times, life will sweep us along like a fast-flowing river and at others, it will freeze us like winter ice. This song captures that duality. It opens on the line, “I am 99% water, in a thunderstorm, in a downpour” indicating the dissolving state of the narrator. She is almost gone, just the “last shred of thin skin that is left me, last grain of sand between land and shore.”

Our narrator is in flux like an iced-over river on which one can’t, “walk over the same part twice over, too fast to freeze, too cold to flow with ease.” Her decision is to let go so that when, “the water pulls me on, I won’t hold on, I’ll thrash around.”

She calls out, “when I hear the song, dream on, dream on! Running river, don’t you ever give up.” In contrast to the idea of a powerfully running river, now she says that she is, “ tiny dewdrops of moisture, sweet but fleeting, no presence to capture” and in spite of that she still looks to the storms overhead as she is, “chasing for a taste of their power.”

At the very end of the song, she adds, “I will always go where you want to go, even water cuts through stone.”

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Synth notes swell with warmth under an intricate flickering guitar as “Run” opens. The drums bounce as a synth pulse moves underneath Bethany Munroe’s soaring voice. The way her guitar twines through the music is delicate while the power of the synths underneath it give the music weight and a feeling of support. I also enjoy the passionate intensity of the vocal melody.

This song explores what happens when we ache for escape and in our desperate running, we find ourselves facing the same struggles and are forced to go on regardless. The song begins on the stark lines, “in desperation we wrecked the car, running full pelt along the motorway in the rain.”

The narrator is aching to find a place that is “somewhere else completely, that’s not too far” because she’s “running from anywhere that expects me to stay the same.” There is an aching sense of loss in the lines, “the car billowing steam, somewhere far behind me. This was our last chance to get away.”

She still keeps running because “they will never ever find me” but there’s hopelessness in the words, “I have tried and I have failed every single day. Let me be somewhere else, please.” However, sometimes there’s “strength in having nothing to lose” and that a fall won’t hurt as much if you "hit the ground harder than the ground hits you.”

Again there’s a yearning as she says, “For once I thought everything might be okay, running so hard I can feel my bones shake” but that “the dream we had was staring us right the face, running so hard the atoms of me fall away.”

Ultimately even if “everything is set up to fail me, it’s still my fault if I fail me too” and that “ the car engine failed but that’s okay, there’s still a few miles left in my shoes.”

Water is a showcase for the strong musical combination of Bethany Munroe’s lyrical skills, wonderful voice and guitar-playing with Toby Campen’s accomplished and musically grabbing synth work along with a strong percussive heartbeat.

© 2020 Karl Magi

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