On Stage: Tessa Violet at Voltage Lounge tonight

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By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

Tessa Violet

Tessa Violet turned in a sparkling performance when she headlined a Philly show last September at The Fillmore.

Now, the talented singer/songwriter/indie rocker is returning to Philadelphia on August 14 when she brings her “I Like (The Idea Of) You” Tour to the Voltage Lounge (421 North Seventh Street, Philadelphia, 215- 964-9602, www.voltagelounge.com).

Last year Violet released “Crush” – the first single from her forthcoming album “Bad Ideas.” Since then, her last three singles have exploded. Violet has gone from an acoustic-leaning solo artist, to an inspirational female fronting a shredding live band.

“In the studio, it’s just me and my producer Seth Earnest,” said Violet, during a phone interview Tuesday afternoon as she pulled into New York City for a show at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn.

“I play guitar and he does everything else. On the road, I have a trio – a bass player, a drummer, and me on electric guitar.”

Violet’s albums are the work of an artist making records and using a studio. On the flip side, her live shows are organic and high energy. She sold out her first ever headline shows –The Troubadour in Los Angeles, Mercury Lounge in New York, and two shows at Camden Assembly Hall in London.

This year, she was offered her first festival slot at Lollapalooza. Additionally, she was picked to be the main support for AJR’s west coast leg on their Neotheater tour. Now, she is in the middle of her debut headline US tour. The tour started on July 25 in Boise, Idaho and will conclude in Santa Ana, California on September 5.

The past year has been a whirlwind for Violet. Her latest single – “I Like (the idea of) You” — has amassed more than 650,000 streams since it was released two weeks ago, and the video has garnered more than  590,000 views in the first week of its release.

Violet is moving along steadily toward the release of a new album titled “Bad Ideas.”

“Crush” was released June 15, 2018. The album’s title track, “Bad Ideas,” was released as a single on November 30, 2018. The third single – “I Like (the idea of) You” – was released in May 2019 followed by the “Bad Ideas Act One” EP in July 2019. More singles and EPs are in the planning stage and the end result will be Violet’s third LP – “Bad Ideas.”

While many young artists have abandoned the idea of releasing an album and focusing on just releasing singles, Violet sees the value of releasing a full-length album.

“I like albums,” said Violet, who recently moved to Los Angeles after living in Nashville for the last five years. “They are a collection of snapshots of moments in artists’ lives.”

Violet’s debut album was “Maybe Trapped Mostly Troubled,” which came out in 2014. Her sophomore LP was “Halloway,” which was produced by Earnest and released in 2016.

“The first album was one I did in the U.K. for an independent release,” said Violet. “Those songs were a lot of the first songs I had ever written. Then, I moved to Nashville and took music more seriously. That’s when I began working on ‘Halloway.’

“I started working on ‘Bad Ideas’ in 2017 – writing and recording. I’d write a batch of songs and record them. Then, I came back with Seth Earnest in Nashville.

“I always write twice as many than I want to record. The first time I had a session, I did 15 songs and only three are on the record. ‘Bad Ideas’ was the first one. The songwriting just felt really true – genuine and vulnerable and straight up. It was a major moment.”

Violet became a singer and guitarist almost by accident.

“It all started about six years ago,” said Violet. “A friend left his guitar in my car and then moved. So, I decided to learn how to play.

“The first song I learned how to play was Death Cab for Cutie’s ‘I Will Follow You Into The Dark.’ I started writing as soon as I learned how to play guitar. Lyrics and melody come together at the same time. I guess I start with a line and go from there.”

Violet’s fans will get to hear a lot of her originals in this tour including quite a few from the new album.

“It’s a 17-song set list and nine are from the new album,” said Violet. “The rest are old – including one from ‘Maybe Trapped Mostly Troubled.” And, I do one cover.”

Video link for Tessa Violet — https://youtu.be/SiAuAJBZuGs.

The show at The Voltage Lounge, which has daysormay as the opening act, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15.

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