EP Review: in the violet hour: a portrait on grief // Saint Clair

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Grief is a feeling that has touched everyone at some point. The intense emotions caused by this feeling are tough to overcome. The new EP release in the violet hour: a portrait on grief was born from the heartache that singer/songwriter Saint Clair experienced following the loss of her father. Saint Clair (Emma Topolski) along with her actor/director sister Tamsin, transformed her stages of grief into a four-song visual EP which delves into these sensitive chapters.

Chapter 1 explored denial in the song ’goddess’. Clair’s soulful vocals are the standout element of this track. These deep and rich tones with her poetic lyricism are beautifully enchanting and paired with the understated production of feathery cymbals, dynamic piano and deep synths. Saint Clair opened her heart and bared her soul in this gorgeous and thoughtful opening number.

Rage and anger were the focus of ‘violet hour’, which opens with a simple electric guitar melody that is woven with compelling layers of backing throughout. Her vocals are still velvety but are sang with a deeper power this time, tension builds through the first verse before arriving to a contrasting chorus where her pitch soars as she sings “you couldn’t be there for me”. It feels like she is representing herself screaming with this harsh shift. It’s a raw moment and the painful awareness that those we have lost will no longer be there for us is a dark notion and extraordinarily symbolised in this track. The lyric “But I can dream” after the second chorus is a realisation of what her future now is and pushes the narrative to the next chapter.

‘elegy in c’ homes in on the numbness and loneliness experienced whilst grieving. The opening line “I only miss you when I’m breathing” leads into a mystical and dreamy backing track concocted of soft beats and wistful synths. Whilst floating in this reflective pool Clair repeats line “I couldn’t miss you anymore” which speaks for itself. The story concludes with chapter 4 and the feeling of acceptance with the track ‘better’. It’s simply stripped back with her voice and a classical piano taking centre stage. This song is the representation of the light at the end of the tunnel.

This deeply personal release ingeniously put together by Saint Clair is an exceptional gem of music and visual art. An incredibly gorgeous, honest and thought-provoking collection of music.

Words by Ruby Flanagan


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