So Vanilla LP
This is the first full-length album from Viji and it has come together really well as an alternative record that spans a few related styles.
Let’s break it down into three major chunks: Alternative indie, slacker fuzz, and languid dreamy alt… and look at some of the songs on the record.
The album starts strong with the alternative indie of ‘Anything’. This song has all the flavour of Beabadoobee’s first long player, Fake It Flowers. The mix of phased dreamy guitars and indie jangle is joined by bass tones that sound almost orchestral.
There’s something about the verse and chorus combination of ‘Sedative’ that still hits, even though I’ve been listening to this single ever since it was released. It captures the early romance of a surprise attraction.
‘Slip Out Quiet’ has elements reminiscent of Sleeper with some bop in the beat and the chorus call. It neatly adjoins the storytelling Britpop style. More reflective, but still in the zone, ‘1850’
I’m a big fan of the fuzzy tracks. Viji conjures The Breeders with the chaotic beat of ‘Shark’, while the rhythmic lyrical delivery of ‘Karaoke’ smuggles a surprise disco twist in the chorus.
‘Say Hi’ is one of my favourite tracks on the record. It takes a classic indie beat and adds lots of guitar ideas to create layers of interesting tone, upon which a really hooky melody plays out. Love it.
The strange chord changes in ‘Ambien’ combined with the casual lead guitar moments make this a slacker classic.
Languid Dreamy Alt
The whispery chill of ‘Down’ and its slow beat place it in this languid dreamy alt category. The songs here are a mood. The song develops around the end of the chorus, with the line: ‘Misery makes me holy!’ It also has a bit of extra volume for the chorus; a defiance amongst the downbeat.
Both ‘Sundress In Pink’ and ‘White Lighter’ have elements that rekindle the sparkling moments of a Terror Twilight era Pavement song. Contrastingly, the woody acoustic intro of ‘Blanket’ sets a sombre mood, which the melancholy lead guitar and violin fit right into.
It’s More Complicated Than That
Of course, it’s more complicated than that. None of the songs is bounded by these loose categorisations. They are genre-centered but spread to encompass elements across these groupings. You could, on a second listen, decide to shift the songs to one of the other headings… though the correct answer is probably to have avoided all taxonomy.
Oh, but my friends, this is the eternal struggle of the writer in a world of music. We must classify and describe. Compare and contrast. All in the name of sharing the music we’re excited about.
And I’m excited about this quirky album, so I must write.
If you like eclectic bands like Pavement mixed with contemporary alt-pop like Beabadoobee, with occasional Beatlesy moments, you’ll love this record.
Written by Fenton on