New Placement: Violet Days’ Made in My Head

One of the presents that my wife and I received after our wedding was a Vera Wang crystal bowl. It’s a striking piece but given that we’ve lived in a small bungalow with tight hallways and crowded rooms for the entire five years that we’ve been married, there was no place to put such a thing. As it was, we never had the place or occasion to justify even taking it out of its box. Truthfully, until recently I had forgotten that it existed.

But earlier this month we moved into a larger home and while moving is a stress-inducing nightmare, the process has a few silver linings—aside from the more obvious large scale benefits—like how rearranging your possessions and shaking up routines that have been taken for granted can cause you to view old things in a new light. All of which is to say that the long-forgotten bowl has since made a decorative home in the center of our kitchen island.

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After releasing a steady stream of electric singles, Violet Days—an electropop duo from Sweden—recently released a bonafide EP, Made in My Head, quelling my fears that they’d be one of those promising bands that never releases a true album. But, as it turns out, there’s not much new material here. The EP is brief, clocking in at seven songs with two of those being short instrumental tracks. Plus, three of the five full songs—”Leave but Don’t Go,” “Somber” and “Just a Little”—had previously been released as singles. Considering that structure, it was tempting for me to write off the EP as little more than a glorified release of two new singles, using repackaged material as filler. And, in a technical sense, I suppose that’s true. But it’s also surprisingly satisfying.

The two new tracks are, predictably, excellent albeit in unexpected ways. “Cocaine Kisses”, whose dark vibe runs contrary to its saccharine (and drug-fueled) name, is the pair’s slowest track to date—and it totally works, by the way—while “I Think…” closes out the EP as a quintessentially singable finale.

But the oddest and most memorable thing about Made in My Head is how it’s made me reconsider the three previously released songs that line its tracklist. None of these three were among my favorites from Days’ prior work (that’d be “Your Girl”, “Suck at Love” and “I’m a Dreamer”) and yet their new placement has somehow found me enjoying each of them more than ever before, especially the hook-laden “Leave but Don’t Go.”

Are these songs any different on Made in My Head? No, they’re not. The songs haven’t been altered at all but, as I learned with a gifted bowl, sometimes a change of scenery is enough to shift perspective and create a new opportunity to enjoy quality that was there all along.

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