FM PREMIERE: Silvia Ryder’s My Violence displays a visual delight for ‘Jesus’

Dreamy and Dark are a perfect summation of this album. The emotions I​ want to convey are kind of like a soundtrack to a 1960’s French New Wave​ movie by Godard or Truffaut.
6 October 2023

Silvia Ryder, the captivating Viennese artist once known as one half of the dream-pop duo Sugarplum Fairies, has emerged from the shadows under the moniker My Violence.

Her debut album, also titled My Violence, is now pulsating through all digital streaming platforms. To accompany the grand unveiling of the LP, Ryder shares a visual delight – the video for the focal track, Jesus. A psychedelic interpretation of The Velvet Underground’s minimalist classic, featuring additional vocals by Danny Lee Blackwell of Night Beats and accompanied by an excerpt from Marc Kehoe‘s VHS masterpiece, Sick Sick Sister.

Guided by the visionary Gold Star, this musical odyssey teased by prelude singles such as Harlot, 20,000 Dashboard Angels, and Unicorn Girls unfolds with a visual spectacle of debauchery, pandemonium, and ethereal romance in their accompanying videos. Ryder’s artistic vision comes to life through Gold Star‘s lens, weaving a narrative through evocative soundscapes. The guitar’s silence, enforced by self-imposed exile, gives precedence to the enchanting whispers of the cult-favorite Omnichord.

Amidst this auditory kaleidoscope, arco double bass, psychedelic pedal steel, and the whimsical Baldwin Fun Machine dance harmoniously, engaging in dialogue with Ryder’s Nico-esque vocals. Her voice, a bewitching oscillation between heady notes and double-tracked binaural layers, guides the listener through obliquely diaristic lyrics that unexpectedly coalesce into a mesmerizing “concept” album. Real and imaginary protagonists traverse a captivating labyrinth in this sonic journey.

As Silvia Ryder‘s album, My Violence, resonates across various streaming platforms, we delved into a conversation with the sonic sorceress to unveil more about the symphonic revelations within. Ryder intricately weaves dreams into melodies, creating a captivating musical experience.

If it weren’t for Nico, I might have never had the courage to start​ singing in the first place

Hello Silvia Ryder, how’s your day? What’s on your mind at the moment?

Currently down with Covid and a vacant brain.

Congratulations on the release of your debut album, My Violence. Can you tell us more about the creative process behind the album and what inspired you to explore these distinctive soundscapes?

My previous project Sugarplum Fairies was very guitar-centric and I wanted to​ move away from that. Also, I started to explore composing (I have strictly been a​ lyricist until now) and I wanted to differentiate the My Violence sound from the​ Sugarplum Fairies.

The LP’s sound has been described as both dreamy and dark. Can you explain how you balance these two elements in your music, and what emotions or experiences you aim to convey to your listeners?

Dreamy and Dark are a perfect summation of this album. The emotions I​ want to convey are kind of like a soundtrack to a 1960’s French New Wave​ movie by Godard or Truffaut.

Jesus is the way you see The Velvet Underground’s classic track. What inspired you to cover this song, and how did you put your own unique spin on it?

I was always intrigued by the austerity of this song. Lou Reed’s ‘Jesus’ only has​ 2 repeating lyric lines and minimalistic arrangements. I wanted to try a different​ approach by adding a wall of psychedelic layers.

Can you shed some light on the music video for Jesus? What was the creative process that led to the amazing visuals?

The video to Jesus is a looped excerpt from Marc Kehoe’s 1976 VHS short,​ titled “Sick Sick Sister”, about two gorgeous but politically opposed sisters’ fight​ to death.

You collaborated with Danny Lee Blackwell of Night Beats on Jesus. How did this collaboration come about, and what was it like working together on this track?

I was introduced to Danny Lee via Gold Star, who produced, mixed and co-wrote​ my album. Danny Lee seemed perfect for this song since he incorporates a​ variety of kaleidoscopic layers in his recordings. Due to time constraints he​ overdubbed his vocal tracks in his home studio.

Your vocals on the album have been compared to Nico’s. How has Nico’s work influenced your own musical style and approach to singing?

I think that comparison mostly stems from both of us having German accents.​ However, if it weren’t for Nico, I might have never had the courage to start​ singing in the first place. Her vocal style is rather minimalistic with hardly any​ embellishments but it conveys a wide spectrum of different emotions.

If you had to describe your sound in three words what would they be?

Sensual, melancholic, cathartic.

What do you want people to take away from listening to your music?

My lyrics are intentionally vague and abstract and open to personal​ interpretation, kind of like aforementioned examples of French New Wave movies.​ Those usually do not have concise endings.

What can fans expect from Silvia Ryder in the future? Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations on the horizon that you can tease for us?

Going to lay low for a little bit and start working on new songs. I have some ideas​ for interesting collaborations but nothing is confirmed yet.