Perhaps best known as the frontwoman in Bay Area-based band King Woman, Kristina Esfandiari‘s solo side project Miserable over the course of two EPs Halloween Dream and Dog Days has developed a reputation for a evocative and wistful brand of moody shoegaze reminiscent of PJ Harvey and others. Her long-awaited full-length debut as Miserable, Uncontrollable was written over the course of a year and is reportedly one of the most emotional and saddest works she’s released to date as the material focuses on a narrator wrestling with her own insecurities, grief and a lingering feel of being controlled by forces and influences larger and more powerful than her. And as a result, the album’s latest single “Violet” is a slow-burning and broodingly atmospheric song that pairs towering and droning power chords and slow, thundering drumming with Esfandiari’s hauntingly siren-like vocals in a song that slowly builds up tension with seemingly no real form of release. But underneath it all is an unresolved and urgent ache.
As Esfandiari explained to the folks at The Fader “I ‘Violet’ with my close friend Evan James (Far Away Places, Grey Zine). ‘Violet’ is about being in the same friend group as someone you’ve had an intense falling out with and how shitty it feels when your friends constantly bring them up. It’s about reminiscing on how beautiful things were and how they’ve faded from your life. How vindictive people can be once you bruise their ego or hurt their heart. How quickly people turn on each other. Beneath all of the pain is longing for a mended friendship.” At some point, many of us have been there and have felt a similar overwhelming heartache and frustration and the song evokes that with an uncanny accuracy.