Transviolet had a bleak moment after it was dropped from its deal with Epic Records. But the Los Angeles alt-pop quartet plans to come back strong with the Sept. 21 release a new EP, Valley, whose single "Undo" premieres exclusively below.
"There was a moment we were all staring at each other, 'What do we do now?'" singer Sarah McTaggart tells Billboard. "We didn't have any money. No one on our team seemed to believe in each other. So what do we do — do we quit or keep going?' I sat the band down and asked those questions, and we decided to keep going, and now we're here. We parted ways with anybody who didn't believe in us, and everything is looking good."
Transviolet — whose debut single "Girls Your Age" was a favorite Katy Perry and Harry Styles, among others — has a new deal with BMG. The band has been prolific, coming up with an estimated 18 songs or so recorded with a variety collaborators in different locales, but McTaggart says an EP felt like the right move now.
"We just really like putting out the best what we have," she explains. "We've been writing a lot, and these are the six best ones. We just wanted to put out six solid songs and not have any filler, and these felt like six that belong together." They also have a loose theme that coincides with Transviolet's situation, according to McTaggart. "There's definitely a theme resilience and empowerment, overcoming the odds. That wasn't intentional, but as we were listening back to what we'd recorded these were the ones that stuck out as the strongest and that moved us the most."
The angsty and ambient "Undo," which was produced by Ben Greenspan and follows the previous single "Bad Intentions," came from what McTaggart calls "too many writing sessions" — and specifically one with a batch "pop songwriters" that left her particularly disgruntled. "There's only so many happy songs you can try to write," she says. "After a particularly frustrating writing session I got home and sat down at my piano and started writing, and 'Undo' came out. It was a product me thinking, 'OK, I want to be completely self-indulgent and write something just for myself to remind myself why I'm doing this.' I wasn't going to share it with anybody, but I eventually showed it to Ben, and he was like, 'There's something special here. Let's explore this.'
"And it fits. It's about resilience, not letting people pick you apart."
McTaggart and Transviolet also worked with Sleeping Lion's Nate Flaks and Noah McGuire, Dream Lab, Ton and Octavion, and Nat Motte from 3OH!3 on tracks for Valley. The group finished its first headlining tour earlier this month and is starting to scope out dates for the fall to support the EP.