Beacon of joy

Vivian Girls – ‘Share the Joy’

8/10

Originally published: www.drownedinsound.com

The careering prominence of New Jersey by-way-of Brooklyn trio Vivian Girls has been charted not only by their own celebrated musical offerings but also in their ability to monopolise the contemporary girl group market. After original drummer Frankie Rose quit the band to start up the eponymous outfit Frankie Rose and the Outs, her replacement Ali Koehler jumped on board then swiftly left again to join Best Coast. ‘Kickball’ Katy Goodman assumed a solo identity herself earlier on in the year with her side project La Sera and more recently, Cassie Ramone decided to branch out with The Babies. So they like to get around, that much is true.

Provoking divided opinion from the off, cynicists and unbelievers took an immediate dislike to the girls on account of Cassie’s unusual, off-key vocals and the band’s rather haphazard approach to instrumentation. But anyone who thought that their musical career was going to be short-lived has most certainly been proved wrong.

Fully embracing the world of hi-fi music making, Vivian Girls somehow teeter on a prog lined precipice with this third album, a steady and unyielding record which positively beams with a newfound sense of confidence. Augmented track lengths are testament to a more accomplished musicality and help to chart The Vivs’ development. From a self-titled debut comprising largely of two-minute blasts of ramshackle lo-fi, to a second LP encapsulating a darker lyrical perspective and boasting a more coherent style of songwriting, this latest effort comes with a sparkling new pop sensibility, a more defined narrative and a refined sound to boot.

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