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"Violins and Tambourines" is a song by Welsh rock band Stereophonics and the seventh track on their 2013 album Graffiti on the Train. It was written from the perspective of a troubled man seeking redemption. David Arnold assisted producers Kelly Jones and Jim Lowe in creating the orchestral arrangements. The song received positive reviews upon the album's release, being called the band's comeback track.

"Violins and Tambourines"
Song by Stereophonics
from the album Graffiti on the Train
Released4 March 2013 (2013-03-04)
Recorded2012
GenreAlternative rock, Blues Rock
Length5:00
LabelStylus Records[a]
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Jones
  • Lowe
Music video
"Violins and Tambourines" on YouTube
Audio sample
"Violins and Tambourines"

Contents

Writing and releaseEdit

 
The character in his dream state. He is caught in an underwater net and the woman who tried to save him earlier tries again.

The lyrics of the song are a narration of a troubled man who is struggling with his inner demons.[3] The title references the lyrics of "The Last of the Unplucked Gems" by Canadian band The Tragically Hip, an important influence on Stereophonics. The song was released on Graffiti on the Train on 4 March 2013.[4] The orchestral arrangements were composed by David Arnold along with producers Kelly Jones and Jim Lowe.[2]

Music videoEdit

The music video for "Violins and Tambourines" was directed by lead singer Kelly Jones and this was his first time directing.[5] It was used to first promote the album.[6] The video uses the song's lyrics for the concept of a man driving in a hopeless state seeking redemption. When he stops and goes to a drug store he meets a woman who offers him that but he walks away, feeling he is beyond saving.[7] The character then falls into a dream state where he is under water and the woman who tried to save him before tries again. The video ends with him tangled in a net, not knowing whether he has been saved or not.[8] In the behind the scenes video for the video, Jones explains he got the idea for the video from the lyric, "I killed a man but life is cheap."[7]

Live performancesEdit

"Violins and Tambourines" had its live debut on 15 December 2012 at the Newport Centre, Wales.[9] Stereophonics held a tour in March to support Graffiti on the Train[10] and the song was played at all the shows.[11] The band were booked for several summer festivals that year, including Pinkpop Festival[12] and the V Festival,[13] where the song was played live. During their performance at Radio 2 In Concert on 22 August that year, the band played the song halfway through their set list and it was the fifth of 6 songs to be played from the album.[14]

Critical responseEdit

"Violins and Tambourines" received positive reviews. Writing for Clash, Kieran Mayall called the song the stand out track on Graffiti on the Train.[15] Sean Adams from Drowned in Sound called it Stereophonics' comeback track and stated it had "reconfigured my notion of who and what Stereophonics had become".[16] Cole Waterman from PopMatters praised the orchestral and guitar sounds in the track, writing: "a pensive piece with blues guitar lines that escalate into a mesmerizing swirl of rapid percussion and strained strings".[17] Along with "Catacomb" and "Roll the Dice", Matthew Horton from the BBC said the last minute of the song "border on the exciting".[18] Andy Gill from The Independent praised Jones' songwriting by calling it "impressive".[19]

At Music OMH, Martin Headon had a mixed response. He praised the arrangement and last minute of the song but stated that "old problems re-surface ... it’s tautological clunkers like “everything is changing, nothing ever seems to stay the same” that stick most in the memory".[20]

PersonnelEdit

ReferencesEdit

Notes
  1. ^ Stylus Records is under exclusive license to Ignition Records Ltd. This is stated on Ignition Records' website and the credits on the back of the Graffiti on the Train vinyl.[1][2]
Footnotes
  1. ^ "Records". Ignition Records. Ignition Management. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Graffiti on the Train (Vinyl notes). Stereophonics. Stylus Records. 2013.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ Walsh, Ayeesha (8 October 2013). "Stereophonics debut new taster track 'film' for upcoming album". The Sun. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Violins and Tambourines". Stereophonics Ltd. 8 October 2012. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Stereophonics debut new song 'Violins and Tambourines' - watch". NME. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Violins and Tambourines". The Stereophonics Ltd. 8 October 2012. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  7. ^ a b Kelly Jones (Director), Stereophonics (Music) (2012). Stereophonics - The Making of Violins and Tambourines (Music Video). Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  8. ^ Kelly Jones (Director), Stereophonics (Music) (2012). Violins and Tambourines (Music Video). Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  9. ^ "Stereophonics Setlist at Newport Centre, Newport, Wales". Setlist.fm. 15 December 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  10. ^ "March Tour announced". The Stereophonics Ltd. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  11. ^ "Violins and Tambourines by Stereophonics". Setlist.fm. Retrieved 28 August 2013. Note: The dates have to be clicked on manually.
  12. ^ "Stereophonics Setlist at Pinkpop Festival 2013". Setlist.fm. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  13. ^ "Stereophonics Setlist at V 2013". Setlist.fm. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  14. ^ "Radio 2 In Concert". BBC Radio 2. BBC. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  15. ^ Mayall, Kieran (4 March 2013). "Stereophonics - Graffiti On The Train". Clash. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  16. ^ Adams, Sean (8 March 2013). "Stereophonics, Graffiti On The Train". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  17. ^ Waterman, Cole (12 March 2013). "Stereophonics: Graffiti on the Train". PopMatters. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  18. ^ Horton, Matthew (2013). "Stereophonics Graffiti on the Train Review". BBC. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  19. ^ Gill, Andy (1 March 2013). "Stereophonics: Graffiti on the Train – review". The Independent. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  20. ^ Headon, Martin (4 March 2013). "Stereophonics – Graffiti On The Train". Music OMH. Retrieved 1 October 2013.

External linksEdit