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Stars Pick Their Top 5! This Week: Hey Violet

click to enlarge Rena Lovelis (foreground) and Hey Violet.

Corey McLean

Rena Lovelis (foreground) and Hey Violet.

When LA electro-pop band Hey Violet rose from the wreckage of teen rock 'n' rollers Cherri Bomb a couple years ago, bassist Rena Lovelis switched to fronting, and stumbled upon a sweet formula. She's charisma on wheels, a magnetic ass-magnet for all sexes, whose croon-and-shout voice is crammed with deceptive sexual tension. The tunes are most often popped-out, lipstick-smudged hookfests that combine finger-on-the-pulse cultural awareness (start by listening to "Guys My Age"—already nearly 28 million streams on Spotify) with wide-eyed innocence ("Break My Heart"), some candy-coated Miley Cyrus feminism and Tori Amos dreaming. The band, which includes Rena's sis Nia, smokes hard with its EDM-meets-power-pop-anthem singsong. Hey Violet hits Tucson this week so we spoke to the whole band about the albums that altered their lives...

Rena Lovelis

1. Arctic Monkeys—Suck it and See: I remember listening to this album on repeat while driving up in the hills of Hollywood, unapologetically singing all of the lyrics. To this day, I can listen to any one of these songs and get that good feeling in my stomach remembering when I first stumbled upon Arctic Monkeys and ultimately fell in love.

Nia Lovelis

2. A Perfect Circle—Mer De Noms: This is an album I grew up with and I feel like I'll always be connected to. I listened to it a lot when I was an awkward teenager figuring out what I wanted to be. It also reminds me of driving cross-country when my family and I were relocating to California. It'll always be a staple in some of my favorite memories. 

Miranda Miller

3. Regina Spektor—11:11: The first song I heard off this album was "Rejazz." I remember sitting in my room and learning the melody line-by-line until I could match her perfectly. Then I listened to the whole album and it ended up being on repeat for months. She has a way of making you forget about genre or limitation. When you listen to this album, it undeniably sounds like her album, and her unique vocal style always stuck with me. 

Ian Shipp

4. Radiohead—Amnesiac: The album that changed my perception of music as a medium. Though often regarded as a compilation of leftover, incomplete songs from previous recording sessions, for some reason Amnesiac has always felt the most cohesive of the Radiohead discography to me. I find myself revisiting it every other month. A good listen for lengthy drives. 

Casey Moreta

5. Father John Misty—Pure Comedy: This album really opened my eyes up to the realization that everything we do is so small. Not insignificant, but just the fact that there are so many of us that think each of our problems are everyone else's and that's just not the case.

Friday, July 28 at 8 p.m., The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave., $9-$18, All ages.


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