As the bio for Violent Mae states, the duo of Becky Kessler and Floyd Kellogg “never intended to be a band. Becky asked Floyd to record and produce her first solo album, and as soon as they hit the studio, chemistry and dynamics between the two sparked the evolution of an artistic partnership.” Their meeting must have been kismet given that their collaboration resulted in a solid debut, the self-titled album Violent Mae, a shout-out from Paste as a Connecticut band to know and an award for best new band in the Connecticut music scene from CTNow.com.
Comparisons are inevitable for new bands — Violent Mae have a retro lo-fi sound similar to earlier Best Coast or to Tennis. The album’s atmosphere has a darker sheen to it than much of the songs from either of those bands, one that is more brooding and not quiet as menacing as Valleys song “Hounds” for example. The first two singles from the album are the poppy “Hole In My Heart” and the sparse, folksy “Worn Out My Welcome” but the entire album is enjoyable and have contrasts elements. “Any Time You Fall” plays out like a shadowy dream while “Mother’s Song” is the brightest slice with a head-bopping percussive beat.
Both musicians played all the instruments on the recorded album but it is just Kessler who provides the vocals. In a live setting, Kessler sings and plays guitar with Kellogg backing her on drums. The band’s next Connecticut show on Thursday the 13th is presented by Manic Productions and sees Violent Mae opening for Moonface at The Outer Space in Hamden.