If there’s one thing we know to be true about Brooklyn-based artist Mons Vi, it’s that he works in words the way other artists work in watercolor or clay. Born Matthew Hershoff, the auspicious wordsmith began to make waves in a handful of literary pursuits after achieving his degree in writing from Columbia University. To some, he’s known mainly as a screenwriter on award-winning HBO short film La Piel de Ayer; however, Hershoff caught the eye of Ones to Watch with the pensive lyrics on his 2018 release “Nite Drive.” On July 19, Mons Vi re-emerges with his third release of 2019, “Come On Violet,” a harrowing track that tells the story of losing a friend to addiction.
A relatively simple arrangement serves the foundation for elevating the emotionality of “Come On Violet.” Primarily supported by an acoustic guitar nestled away in the recesses of the track, Mons Vi’s vocals, as beautiful and delicate as a butterfly’s wings, holds the listener spellbound with heart-rending lyrics akin to poetry. The singer breathes, “It’s been a little too long to be biding my time/ Searching around between bottles of wine/ And the call of the wild/ Somehow gets lost in the dark of your eyes.”
Photo: Derek Jay
The plainness of Mons Vi’s instrumental arrangement and lyrical delivery are a stinging reflection of experiencing an unexpected loss. Opening up further about his experience, Hershoff says,
“‘Come On Violet’ was inspired by a string of conversations I had with a friend close to the end of her life. She was battling heroin addiction in Memphis, and she was losing. We talked on and off for about a month as she got ready to go to rehab. But the night before she was meant to start treatment, I stopped hearing from her. Almost a year later, I learned that she passed away from a heroin overdose the day after our last conversation. She was 22 years old.
I wrote ‘Come On Violet’ shortly after getting the news. The song is a tribute to her and that strange, out of the blue connection we shared in her waning moments. The lyrics represent an attempt to convince a beautiful soul to return to life. The music paints a bittersweet picture of loneliness and hope.”
“Come On Violet” is an ode to a deceased friend that is poignant, beautiful, and heartbreaking all at once. Don’t worry about shedding a tear when you listen, just let it happen–I know I did. Take a moment to reflect with an exclusive first listen below: