10 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Brooklyn-based Vivian Girls subtly redefine their sound and song structures on their third release. In contrast to the brevity of their first two efforts they stretch out on the six-minute songs bookending Share the Joy, “The Other Girls” and “Light In Your Eyes,” and lace them with long staccato guitar solos that add texture to the tracks. They show more range here, too. They’re bouncy on “Dance (If You Wanna),” cheeky on “Take It As It Comes” with its deadpan spoken commentary, and flash a harder edge on the Green On Red cover “Sixteen Ways.” Elsewhere they tweak the tempos on the dynamic “Trying to Pretend” and the choppy “Lake House,” a couple of tracks that highlight the differences in playing styles between the band’s new drummer, Fiona Campbell, and the former one, Ali Koehler, who moved on to join Best Coast. The overall sonic shift to a cleaner sound emphasizes the languid harmonies of singer Cassie Ramone (vocals, guitar) and Katy Goodman (bass, vocals) without fully abandoning their lo-fi aesthetic and fondness for repetitive fuzzy guitar riffs and audio grit.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Brooklyn-based Vivian Girls subtly redefine their sound and song structures on their third release. In contrast to the brevity of their first two efforts they stretch out on the six-minute songs bookending Share the Joy, “The Other Girls” and “Light In Your Eyes,” and lace them with long staccato guitar solos that add texture to the tracks. They show more range here, too. They’re bouncy on “Dance (If You Wanna),” cheeky on “Take It As It Comes” with its deadpan spoken commentary, and flash a harder edge on the Green On Red cover “Sixteen Ways.” Elsewhere they tweak the tempos on the dynamic “Trying to Pretend” and the choppy “Lake House,” a couple of tracks that highlight the differences in playing styles between the band’s new drummer, Fiona Campbell, and the former one, Ali Koehler, who moved on to join Best Coast. The overall sonic shift to a cleaner sound emphasizes the languid harmonies of singer Cassie Ramone (vocals, guitar) and Katy Goodman (bass, vocals) without fully abandoning their lo-fi aesthetic and fondness for repetitive fuzzy guitar riffs and audio grit.

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About Vivian Girls

Deriving their name from the ill-fated characters featured in the work of writer/illustrator Henry Darger, the Vivian Girls (not to be confused with the "craft pop" duo of the same name) are a Brooklyn-based trio whose gritty, lo-fi tunes nod to seminal indie pop acts like Black Tambourine, Talulah Gosh, and Tiger Trap. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Cassie Ramone, bassist Kickball Katy (Goodman), and drummer Ali Koehler, the Vivian Girls sprang into the indie circuit in 2008 with a handful of 7" singles released on a passel of small labels, including "Wild Eyes" (Plays with Dolls Records), "Orphanage" (Woodsist Records), and "I Can't Stay" (In the Red Records). Their self-titled debut full-length was released on Mauled by Tigers and In the Red in September that same year. The record became something of a sensation and the trio spent the year touring and gaining fans the world over. Their quickly recorded follow-up album, Everything Goes Wrong, was released in late summer of 2009. After switching out drummers in the summer of 2010 (Ali joined Best Coast and was replaced by Coasting's drummer Fiona Campbell) and taking a break for other projects (Ramone formed Babies with Woods' bass player Kevin Morby, Goodman formed La Sera with Brady Hall), the group hit the studio in late 2010 to record their third album. Share the Joy was released in April of 2011 on their new label Polyvinyl. ~ Margaret Reges

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