Song of the Week: “Tempter” by Violents

Drums thick with hi-hat and a syncopated rhythm come in without preamble. Layered on top is an airy, distant voice singing lightly above the drums. The voice weaves in and out and up and down, creating a melody that will continue throughout the entire song. After this melody is repeated twice, there’s a shift. The drums become tamer. A synth starts repeating a steady counterpoint to the vocals.

When the first verse starts, the song is driving, almost drone-like. The singer Annie Williams hardly moves up or down anymore. She delivers the words in monotone, only hitching up on the last word of a line. “Black tie, brown eyes, white lie, all I remember/ Amber, embers, tempter, don’t you dare fall asleep.”

Then the chorus comes in with the same melody we heard at the beginning of the song, followed by words that have turned slightly threatening. “Sorry, my dear, you can’t leave here. Sorry, my dear, just lie down here.” But the effect on the vocals makes the words sound like they’re coming from outside the speaker, like the speaker is weirdly disconnected from what she’s saying.

After the second verse, there’s a small musical interlude where the piano gets beautifully manic. A snare keeps popping through on an odd beat that’s hard to follow. Then the haunting melody comes in from before, only the voice and drums again. The melody slows down. The strings beneath it begin building and building, then shifting into a minor key that sends chills across the skin. The ominous chorus is repeated once more, and the song ends exactly the way it started. After the last note is sung, the only sounds that can be heard are strange little whispers.

Violents is a creative project of Jeremy Larson. “Tempter” comes from the second EP, “Red Lights.” So far, he’s only released two EPs, but a third is on its way. Larson is an amazing composer, songwriter, and producer. In fact, he’s Sucré’s producer, whom we featured in November. I recommend paying close attention to this project because it’s only going to get better and better from here.

PS: Don’t forget that today is the last day to enter our book giveaway!

Leave A Comment