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Vivian Girls - Memory (Album Review)

Wednesday, 16 October 2019 Written by Milly McMahon

The magic conjured by Cassie Ramone, Katy Goodman and Ali Koehler as Vivian Girls feels unbridled and wild on their fourth full length, ‘Memory’.

After breaking away from the band eight years ago, having released three brilliant garage-pop LPs, the Brooklyn group have since experimented with individual projects.

Reviving the riotous energy that typified their trailblazing sound during their initial DIY epiphany, here the band prove that talent and authenticity neither age nor expire. Alive with passion, thumping drums, thrashing guitars and soaring vocals, Vivian Girls come together with effortless finesse. 

Introducing a melancholic sense of nostalgia on production, Rob Barbato (Cass McCombs, Kevin Morby) has also played a significant role in evolving the band’s aesthetic on ‘Memory’. Standout track Lonely Girl is drenched in emotion; its illuminated vocals distorted with haunting reverb. 

At points throughout the album, the messy, overwhelming mixture of sounds feels demented and intense. Vivian Girls create a noise that should feel like an acquired taste, but the intelligent arrangements alongside pulsing percussion and compelling guitar harmonies sparks a fractured sense of familiarity.

And listening to ‘Memory’ evokes just that: the hazy moments of past times and forgotten feelings just out of reach. With the band’s words occasionally indistinguishable, the listener is left to imagine whatever comes to them in that very moment, a ghostly technique that matures the rebellious sound they have coined, moving now towards an ethereal realm that strikes a beautiful chord with the listener.

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