The New York-based trio blend out of their thrash past and into mountainous harmony for their new Burt Bacharach-inspired album
Dreamy three-piece Vivian Girls are back drowning out the shadowed backdrop of New York buzz with their aired-out country sounds. In the third album of their career, Cassie Ramone and Kickball Kathy have recruited new drummer Fiona Campbell to build on the Vivian Girls fledgling empire. Their new album, released through Polyvinyl Records and titled ‘Share The Joy’, marks a harmonious transition from the bands former New York inspired thrash sound.
These new-found lifting woodland intonations were recorded at the home studio ‘Rear House’, run by Jarvis Taveniere - synonymous for it’s homely atmosphere and catching laid back vibe. Bursting with 70s prairie inspired melodies, ‘I Heard You Say’, the first single track release from the album, serves as the girls introduction to 2011 as one of America’s most promising new bands. With a UK tour now scheduled for July, Dazed Digital caught up with the trio to talk about Vivian Girls so far...
DD: Apparently the album name, Share The Joy, is named after a Burt Bacharach track. What is the significance of Burt for you?
Vivian Girls: I have a long-running thing with Burt Bacharach, lasting almost my entire life. It was a fascinating experience when I started getting into Burt Bacharach and I finally realised how many of my favorite songs he had written. I would listen to the records a lot when I was falling in and out of my first love. They have such an amazing feel to them - they are mostly instrumental with occasional touches of background vocals or lyrics. I had never heard another record that sounds like that. Burt Bacharach is a pop songwriter, but his style is absolutely avant-garde compared to other pop songwriters of the time; all his songs are weird and sad and beautiful while still retaining the great pop elements.
DD: How has your sound evolved in this album?
Vivian Girls: It is the sound of the wind on the prairie, as opposed to the sound of the parks in the midst of city streets or the sound of the crags in the mountains in the desert.
DD: How has the new line-up changed the dynamic of the band?
Vivian Girls: It's been really amazing working with Fiona. She is such a positive and inspiring individual.
DD: You became an overnight success when you first started in 2007, did you find it a lot of pressure to live up to the hype?
Vivian Girls: I've always been slightly uncomfortable with the amount of attention we got. When it was happening I felt like it was too soon and I wasn't ready. In general, I don't think any of us realized what a big deal it was at the time. We've always believed in ourselves, but don't have much of an idea of the "right" way to do things. We have just been following our path and doing what feels natural to us, and that's the way it's going to keep going.
DD: What's the idea behind the video? Did you have a lot of impact creatively?
Vivian Girls: The video came together as a brainstorm between Timothy Fiore and myself. We wanted it to have a strong Kubrick/Lynch-esque vibe, and the inspiration behind the fake flames was found in the video for Cher's "Half Breed" video. The incredible dresses were designed by my friend Stephanie Hinson. We were lucky enough to be able to shoot on the day of the first blizzard of winter; we couldn't have asked for better timing!
DD: Where did the name Kickball Katy come from?
Vivian Girls: Katy went to school at RIT for about a month. She was a member of a "super secret kickball society" and they gave her the nickname. That's all we are allowed to tell you.
DD: What are you most excited about next?
Vivian Girls: We're really looking forward to our upcoming tour with the Black Lips. We have wanted to tour with them since we formed our band, so it will really be a dream come true!
Click here to download the new single ‘I Heard You Say’ for free. 'Share The Joy' is out now