By – Jackie Lo
If you like Veruca Salt, The Breeders, Pretty Sick, Wet Leg, Sonic Youth, Ex Hex
Earlier this year while researching songs for one of my new music shows I came across the track “Down” by Viji and was so excited to find a song that checked all my boxes by an artist I hadn’t heard of yet. I immediately wrote “Viji” down in my notebook and let Substrate know I wanted to review this album when it came out.
Viji, an Austrian-Brazilian singer/songwriter based in London, whose real name is Vanilla Jenner, released their debut album So Vanilla on Speedy Wunderland today.
So Vanilla opens with one of my favorite tracks “Anything” that sets the tone with a gorgeous raspy vocal delivery that blends so beautifully with the swirly shoegaze guitars and a driving rhythm that keeps you singing “I would do anything, anything, anything, anything for you”. The next track “Down” is my favorite track on the album and is making my “Best of 2023” song lists. The 90s alt rock soft-loud-soft-loud hooked me immediately with the large fuzz choruses “Do I have to be down to reach?” makes me feel like a teenager again and reminds me of the first time I listened to American Thighs by Veruca Salt.The chilled out “Sundress In Pink” is another favorite that has moments that remind me of The Glands. “Slip Out Quiet” is a sweet pop song reminiscent of Ex Hex and “Sharks” ,that’s the most rocking track on the album, gives you a sense of loss while giving you the middle finger at the same time which always brings me joy.
Viji’s debut album So Vanilla is anything but vanilla. I’d say it’s more of a rainbow sherbet. Colorful, vibrant lush textures, something you’d enjoy while sitting on a blanket in the sun on a beautiful day, and so delicious with each bite bringing you new and delightful flavors.
Written by: jamric
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