After delighting us with a wave of bright and glittering singles in the latter half of 2020, which included ‘Summer Of 99’, ‘Rendezvous’ and most recently ‘Fool Alone’, Swedish dream-pop outfit ViVii now look to kick off the new year with the release of their glorious new single ‘One Day’, out January 27th through Dumont Dumont.
Lifted from their forthcoming new full-length, which is set to land in the Spring, ‘One Day’ sees the trio continue that same light and euphoric direction they have always pursued. Capturing a rich and textured alt-pop aesthetic throughout, this new delight adds yet another luxurious arrow to their musical quiver.
Speaking about the new offering, they said, “On a rooftop in Brooklyn 2 years ago we had a farewell party to some good friends of ours that had joined us on tour. The 3 of us ended up alone, like we do most of the time… it started to rain and we started to chant a melody that has stuck with us since. This is the result of the ViVii chant that we always use right before we go on stage.”
Even in the long ago distant times of two years ago, ViVii were defying (and denying) the challenging (or simply boring) realities of life. Even in the good old days of 2018, on only their second single, ViVii had one thing in mind: dreaming up a better world through song.
Clearly the Swedish trio – singers and multi-instrumentalists Emil and Caroline Jonsson, and multi-instrumentalist and studio whizz and the bands producer Anders Eckeborn – were on to something special. ‘Savant’ has been streamed 4.5 million times on Spotify alone. The self-titled album that followed in 2019 has had 14 million streams. ViVii’s sublime dream-pop took them round the world on tour, from their production base in Uppsala, an hour north of Stockholm, all the way to the California of The Beach Boys.
“Think of 1969 and you think of The Beach Boys era,” says Emil, the smiling enthusiasm all over his face as he recalls the pilgrimage the trio took to the beaches and neighbourhoods that birthed Brian Wilson’s teenage symphonies to God. That passion is there, too, in ViVii’s single ‘Rendezvous’, the second taster of the treats to come on the band’s second album, due in spring 2021.
“We just grew up on that time and sound. All that jingle-jangle music, we all love it so much!” he adds with a laugh. “So it’s an homage to that time. It’s a romantic tribute to a place and a time and a sound that means so much to us.”
‘Rendezvous’ was preceded in August by the BBC 6 Music-playlisted ‘Summer of 99’. The first fruits of their 2019/20 sessions in Anders’ Uppsala studio, it’s the perfect example of the trio’s sparking, spectral song writing and is another homage – this one to Emil and Caroline’s romance.
With ViVii, connectivity – emotional, musical, soulful – goes three ways. Alongside Caroline and Emil’s personal partnership, their friendship with Anders goes way back, too.
And it underpins the odd but functional manner in which this self-sufficient trio wrote, recorded and produced their new album: working once a week, on Mondays only, because the rest of the week they each had, well, real jobs: Emil works in a cemetery (“I put people in the ground, in the urns”), Caroline is an economic consultant and Anders is an accountant. “Really serious jobs,” smiles Anders.
Growing up in Gothenburg, as teenagers each of them played music and sang in church groups, with Caroline and Anders both steeped in classical music at home. Post-school, they then regrouped in music college in Stockholm.
“When I met Anders again at college, he was studying cello and I was studying singing,” says Emil. “Well, he played cello and I played ping-pong, PlayStation, FIFA and Tekken. He became very good at his instrument and I became very good at ping-pong.”
After college, life took over, with Emil and Caroline spending time in New York. There, Emil supplemented their income by revisiting his teenage modelling career (he’’ll tell you about that another time), while the couple’s musical skills brought them to the attention of soul star Tye Tribbett, leading to an intense period of American touring as part of his gospel choir. Anders, meanwhile, had quit playing cello on a professional level having developed severe stress pain in both arms, and due to that was unable to play anything at all. He moved to Norway with his Norwegian wife and while in exile managed to overcome the pain and reinvent a new softer way of playing guitar, the style we now know as the typical ViVii sound.
Fast-forward a decade and all three of them found themselves back in Sweden. When Emil and Caroline decided they needed some help for the next musical chapter in their lives, there was only one person they wanted to call.
“When we got together with Anders to write songs, it was so easy,” recalls Caroline. “It was love at first sight. Writing music to me hasn’t’ been easy with others. It’s always been difficult, not feeling confident enough. But with Anders, it was instantly and always easy.”
Anders agrees. “We’d all been away and played with other people, but together, it was a perfect match.”“Sweden has a great history of songwriters and producers,” points out Emil. “So you’d sit and do these sessions with other bands and artists, but we just wanted to throw up. It wasn’t’ our thing. But when we got together everything just made sense. That’s our unique celebratory point – us three are very introverted, a bit sensitive! But together we are so comfortable.”
That ease and understanding is there for all to hear in ViVii’s second as yet untitled album, which will be released in Spring 2021.