New album, 'Memory,' out on Sept. 20 via Polyvinyl
Vivian Girls have shared a video for “Something To Do,” the latest from their new album, Memory, their first in 8 years. The video was directed by Jason Lester. Watch the video below:
Last month Vivian Girls announced their reunion with the release of Memory’s lead single, “Sick,” which Rolling Stone called “a slice of jangle-pop reverie” which “sees the band of outsiders at their best,” while Vulture hailed it as “a hodgepodge of all their musical touchstones, indecipherable beneath the haze, continuously confronting and morphing into something much, much grander.”
Memory is an album filled with personal reflections on toxic relationships, the false promise of new love, mental health struggles, and finding ways to accept oneself amidst it all. Fittingly, the sonic textures of the album match this sense of desperation and longing. It’s a loud, snarling journey and there’s a sense of streamlined direction and intensity to the performances: it sounds like a band returning to a core idea of itself.
In celebration of Memory, the band has also announced a fall tour that includes shows on the east coast, west coast and in the midwest, as well as reissues of their acclaimed first two albums — Vivian Girls (2008) and Everything Goes Wrong (2009). Originally released by In the Red, these classic records have been tragically out-of-print for many years, but are both now available for the first time on 180-Gram colored vinyl. Vivian Girls, the band’s self-titled debut album (which Pitchfork dubbed “Best New Music” upon its release in 2008), has also been re-mastered by Heba Kadry at Timeless Mastering.
Memory and both of the re-issues are available for pre-order now and out on 9/20.
Oct. 4 – Los Angeles, The Regent
Oct. 5 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory OC
Oct. 6 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory North Park
Oct. 17 – Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw
Oct. 18 – Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church
Oct. 20 – Somerville, MA – Once Ballroom
Oct. 25 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
Oct. 26 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
Nov. 1 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
Nov. 2 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
Nov. 3 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theater
About Vivian Girls: While a reunion record titled Memory may conjure images of a band waxing nostalgic about the halcyon days of yore, Vivian Girls’ newest record is anything but a pleasant reminiscence. The latent darkness that always haunted their records is on full display upon their return. Vivian Girls are back and they haven’t forgotten what they went through.
During their initial run as a band, Vivian Girls were a band of outsiders for outsiders. They existed in warehouses and house parties. The DIY spots, the small clubs. They were a band for the freaks, the malcontents. The ones who loved The Wipers as much as Burt Bacharach as much as The Shangri-Las. The ones who talked about astrology and politics and romance with equal passion. They were the band that made the punks feel like they could sing harmonies and pop fans could get in touch with their anger. Cassie Ramone’s lyrics alternated between love, loss and rage. They were heart-on-their-sleeves romantics in one breath and a spiraling explosion of feedback in the next. They were a band that we needed. No one wrote about all the bands that started in their wake in 2009. But let us remember: Vivian Girls not only gave us their songs; they gave us a chance to believe in ourselves.
And they were a band that made the indie gatekeepers uncomfortable. And so they were ones that paid for what made them special. Since their time as a band, the comment threads that demeaned and threatened them with violence have since been deemed irresponsible and removed. Websites dedicated to their bodies under the cheap veil of irony have been shuttered. One would hope that today, major music publications would no doubt reconsider having a male reviewer question their “place in indie rock.”
After their third album — 2011’s Share the Joy — the members of Vivian Girls parted ways and the band who had known each other since they were teenagers, went about the business of living. Katy Goodman and Ali Koehler both moved to Los Angeles, continued making music (La Sera for Goodman, Best Coast and Upset for Koehler) and started families. Ramone continued to make art in Brooklyn, released two solo records and two full-lengths with Kevin Morby as The Babies, and moved to Los Angeles in 2018 after a phone call with Goodman spurned the idea of playing music together again.
With Ramone and Goodman on board, Koehler (the drummer for Vivian Girls’ second full-length Everything Goes Wrong) re-joined the band and the trio began playing together again during the spring of 2018, keeping the practices a secret and enjoying the simple communion of playing together. By fall, the members of Vivian Girls were ready to enter the studio and over the course of two sessions in mid-September and Halloween week, Memory was recorded with producer Rob Barbarto (Kevin Morby, The Fall). (Please note that during the September session, there was a waxing moon in Scorpio/Sagittarius, sun in Virgo, while during the October session, there was a full moon in Taurus, sun in Scorpio.)
Memory is an album filled with personal reflections on toxic relationships, the false promise of new love, mental health struggles, and finding ways to accept oneself amidst it all. And of course, there is the trademark mystery that set the band apart during its first incarnation. Even when we don’t know what exactly a Vivian Girls song is about, we know it is true.
Fittingly, the sonic textures of the album match this sense of desperation and longing. It’s a loud, snarling journey and there’s a sense of streamlined direction and intensity to the performances: it sounds like a band returning to a core idea of itself.
In the end, Vivian Girls have returned to making music together, looking to the future while bringing their past along with them, boldly and without apologies. And so let us listen and remember: we can still believe in ourselves.
Source: Press Release