ViVii (Sweden) – ‘Wider Sun’ (track from album ‘Mondays’)
There have been many singles, five of them at least, from ViVii’s second album, ‘Mondays’, which arrives on 21st May and it was my intention to review the ‘focus track’ from it, the perplexingly titled ‘Smackdown’. What’s that then? A new variety of that campest of sports, wrestling? What you get if you don’t adhere to lockdown next time around? Or decline your jab?
It’s partly as a result of that confusion, together with the fact that ‘Smackdown’ didn’t really appeal to me and I think that’s the first time I’ve ever said that about a ViVii song, that I opted for ‘Wider Sun’ instead, the penultimate track. Yet another reason is that much of the vocal is provided not by Caroline Jonsson, but by her other half, Emil, who features prominently on the last track, ‘Baby be the light’ as well.
I don’t think Emil can have been promoted to in front of the mic just for the sake of some variety because he can sing pretty well. He reminds me of Joe Hammill of Cattle and Cane, who has one of the top voices in any UK indie-pop band. But as always it isn’t the high class vocal that grabs your attention with ViVii as much as the swirling electronic arrangements and melodies which always hit the button. This one is made up of 12 notes which keep circling back like Jen Psaki, and which you can’t easily get out of your head assuming you’d want to.
The accompanying PR advised “Their sublime dream-pop took them round the world on tour, from their production base in Uppsala...all the way to the California of the Beach Boys.” That prompted me to realise that in a way they are a 21st century version of the Beach Boys; melodies, harmonies, smart lyrics, storytelling, the whole nine yards.
And they always seem to find instrumentation that it’s hard to identify. I’m assuming that they’re using some old analog synths here. Whatever it is, the end result is wet dream pop. Can I say that?
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