• David Bentley

Video of the Week –ViVii (SE): ‘Smackdown’ (track from album)


ViVii have had a great deal of airplay here this last year or so but I’m more than happy to highlight this latest video from them, which is for the song ‘Smackdown’ from their album ‘Mondays’ because it helps a little to understand where this band is coming from. ViVii is fundamentally an alt-pop band or dream pop band as you will but there’s also something a little psych-y about them to me.


And it comes out in this video which was, they say, “made in our basement...it almost has the same vibe as our favourite club in Berlin, minus the crowd”. They don’t say if that is the infamous Berghain but there’s something about ViVii that says that it wouldn’t surprise me. Actually, filming a track in a basement, probably at their production base of Uppsala, the sedate university city in central Sweden, is in considerable contrast to their globetrotting to film other videos for the album, which included California.


The song itself is one of the less notable of those on the album so we are really looking at the video here. Sometimes ViVii reminds me of Headless Heroes, the cover band most active 10 or so years ago and which included an A&R guy, Eddie Bezalel, producers Hugo Nicolson and David Holmes, and the still (for my money) underrated vocalist Alela Diane and who covered cult classics by The Jesus and Mary Chain and Nick Cave, and other lesser lights in a seemingly effortless psychy manner.


And they produce a similar outcome in this video, with its effects which seem to belong to the 1970s.


In this instance the psych is more visual as Caroline dons her best John Lennon specs and Emil goes – as they say – “all Father John Misty”. Meanwhile, we are graced by the presence of Anders, the quiet man who does the special sound effects but who typically stays out of the limelight.


Altogether a pleasant little video and summery song to sign off with as the Nordics – especially Sweden – go into their long midsummer vacation.

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