Taking you on an emotional journey
Samantha Andrews
12:16 15th June 2022

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If I Saw You Again is a vulnerable and honest debut album from Violet Skies that sees the singer-songwriter finding her own voice. The stripped-back and intimate record is a collection of melodic piano and guitar tracks with each song feeling like an invitation into the most honest parts of the singer’s life. Covering themes from death to break-ups and first meetings, the album stands as a sense of clarity on the various paths crossed in life, with Violet Skies finding her feet as she goes. 

Opening track ‘Settle’ is the perfect introduction to the tapestry of emotions Violet Skies delves into on If I Saw You Again. Lyrical allusions to the snow in California and the fire of Notre Dame find the singer navigating herself alongside the fogginess of the modern world. The minimal production pushes her vocals to the forefront, giving her lyrics and the elegance of her voice space to shne. 

If I Saw You Again is at its core, an album that finds a singer-songwriter evaluating her place in the world. The gentle piano track ‘Never Be Cool’ looks the most internally, and in so doing, the singer reflecting on her inner nerd. With the brutal vulnerability of lyrics like "still a loser, but I mean it when I say I like the way I’ve settled in my skin," her quiet confidence finds space to breathe. 

It is exactly this comfort in her own skin that Violet Skies figures out and carries in If I Saw You Again. It takes a lot of courage to confront and present the messy parts of life, and the singer does so with grace on the album. Songs like the piano ballad ‘Love You Better (Go)’ see her comfortable in her self-worth, confronting a failing relationship and letting it go. 

This vulnerable honesty is explored through the singers’ various explorations of relationships on the album. From being happy for an ex after searching their social media on ‘The Internet’ to the crushing feeling of falling out of love in ‘We Don’t Get Along’, each side of this experience is given due space on the album. Each feels personal and yet deeply relatable.

Between this sense of departure, there are also arrivals on the paths trodden in If I Saw You Again that have come to shape who Violet Skies is. ‘Jupiter’ traces a long-distance relationship in which the singer reflects "you changed all my circuitry". Meanwhile, the more upbeat ‘When Are We Gonna Do This’ follows the anticipation of a new relationship.  

Arrivals, however, do not come without the consistent balance of goodbyes on If I Saw You Again, and the largest theme of the album is the singer’s exploration of death. ‘Hey God It’s Me’ is Violet Skies confronting death face on, with reflections upon family losses, and advice that has shaped her. The track features voice notes of her mother and grandmother, enriching the emotional thread of the song. But the album never feels weighed down by these more sombre reflections. ‘What If One of Us Died?’ sees this fascination with death continue but frames it within a newfound clarity. This is easily the biggest pop moment on If I Saw You Again, with an infectiously catchy hook in the chorus and some of the brightest production on the album. 

Closing the album on a reflective and sober note, ‘Over the Valley’ stands as a metaphorical departure. Violet Skies leaves her debut album with the lessons she has learned within If I Saw You Again. This is an album that will take you on an emotional journey but will leave you feeling clearer in the awareness that life is full of hellos and goodbyes, with each as meaningful and life-shaping as the last. 

If I Saw You Again arrives 17 June.

Issue Four of the Gigwise Print magazine is on pre-order now! Order here.

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Photo: Press