There is a sweetness to Caro Juna’s voice that you wouldn’t expect in the sounds of Violent Delights. The world she created in her self produced EP is one that the album cover captures perfectly: a sci-fi space of contrasting textures.
The aptly titled first track features persistent percussion that almost sounds like nail clippers, something sharp and unrelenting, perfectly capturing that sensation of being on edge. But the overall impression of the track isn’t that it’s a hard, immovable thing; rather, the soft synths looping in the background paired with Caro Juna’s silky voice make the track dynamic. Like being in the deep ocean, there’s a sense of foreboding due to the pressing rhythm, but it’s still dreamy and beautiful.
If “Mister Anxiety” was like the deep ocean, then “Maybe” feels more like cerulean clear waters. The song is brighter with shimmery synths that arch upwards rather than the downwards pattern of the previous song. To balance this out, there’s a grittier synth bass that adds an unexpected texture to the otherwise gossamer sounding track. But right as the track ends, it resumes its original soft sound, ending with a quick visit to the intro but with the sounds of a happy crowd.
“Unalone” starts with a simple rhythm panned between left and right ears. But it’s not a typical sound; rather it sounds like crunching, something almost familiar. Strings and synths quickly join, setting the stage for Caro Juna’s voice to dance over.
The strings make a cinematic effect and there’s a sense of impending dystopia as she sings presumably about death (“till an angel takes me home”). The track swells towards its end, only to finish with a light waltz that’s unexpected but oddly works, like a haunted memory that’s pretty only in retrospect.
The final track is the most simple, a wash of softer sounds as Caro Juna sings about drifting back towards a lover. But like previous tracks, she finds a way to add unexpected sounds into the track. This time, it’s in the chorus, something that sounds like a far away train. The track ends with a question that’s met with seconds of silence, almost like it’s rhetorical, not meant to be answered.
Violent Delights shows us that Caro Juna knows how to play with sound and concept. And it’s especially impressive that the EP was self-produced, seeing as the tracks explored different worlds ranging from the simmering drama of “Unalone” to the shimmery hope of “Maybe.” The producing vision of Caro Juna paired with her saccharine voice make me curious for what she’ll make next.