Bruise Violet finished No. 2 overall in our 2015 Picked to Click tally with 67 points. Click here to read profiles on this year's other 11 winning acts.
It's been an intense year for Bruise Violet, the teenage trio fittingly named after a Babes in Toyland song.
After adding bassist Bella Dawson in January, the band released their debut EP, Survival of the Prettiest, in August. The five-song effort is a testament to early '90s female grunge bands, served with a twist, as the sweet harmonies equal the harrowing-sounding screeches.
"When we have the microphone, we can say whatever we want," guitarist Emily Schoonover says. She sits beside drummer Danielle Cusack, who at 19 is the eldest of the group; Dawson and Schoonover are both 16.
"When you're a teenage girl, you probably have lots of anger about lots of things, whether it be related to gender or sexual orientation or race, or if it just has to do with being an angsty teen," Schoonover explains. "[Music] just kind of gives you a chance to get to scream."
Bruise Violet definitely aren't writing love songs. Badass breakup track "Maybe You're the Problem" takes the opposite stance, beginning with the line, "Excuses, excuses ... " Another song off the EP, "Sketchy Jeff," threatens to show what it's like to get beat up by a girl.
The girls of Bruise Violet are grateful for their fans as well as their haters, and Dawson hopes their audience will grow.
"I'd like to see more girls of color," she says, referring to the local punk scene. Until entering the public school system, Dawson hadn't thought of herself as biracial. "It's really hard because some of my girls are like, 'Oh yeah, that's the white in you,'" she says, shaking her head. "As a black young woman, I really hope to see more girls coming in here and representing."
Right now, Bruise Violet is focused on two big upcoming gigs: the Replacements tribute show at First Avenue (November 27) and the Girl Germs tribute show at Turf Club (December 5). They intend to put out a full-length album in the near future, but school remains a priority. "At a lot of our gigs I end by saying, 'We're Bruise Violet, and we have school tomorrow,'" Cusack says.
She concludes with this bit of wise advice: "If you're a female, pick up a guitar or a bass or drums and just start screaming."