Having released ‘Summer Of 99’ in late August, the first single from their as yet untitled sophomore album, Swedish dream-pop outfit ViVii now return with a live performance of their new single alongside album precursor track ‘Whistle’.
These beautiful live versions were shot in and outside a barn connected to a mansion located just outside of Uppsala in Sweden. ‘Summer Of 99’ and ‘Whistle’ each add their own unique stamp on the band’s forthcoming full-length. While the former showcases the group’s love for bold and euphoric dream-pop compositions, ‘Whistle’ remains a far more intimate release for them, performed in a far more intimate setting and capturing their more humble aesthetics.
Speaking about the new live performances, they said, “Due to the current state of these times that we all are experiencing, we gathered some of our unemployed musician, tech and filmmaker friends and had a weekend full of good times. Felt like it was perfect for us to try our songs live with a full band for the first time. Effortless and magical to say the least.”
‘Summer Of 99’ will feature on ViVii’s second LP, which is set to land in Spring 2021, and is the follow-up to their self-titled debut album, which was released in March 2019. That record has amassed over 13 million streams globally and culminated in a major headline tour across the United States last autumn.
The trio is made up of Emil and Caroline Jonsson and their enigmatic work partner Anders Eckeborn. Speaking about their relationship Emil explains, “We work with another guy, but he doesn’t like the limelight at all…” “Anders is amazing, he loves all noises,” continues Caroline. “It took ages, we were so slow before, but once we met Anders it became easy – we are all slow workers individually but together it’s beautiful. It’s always so natural.”
All five of ViVii’s previously shared singles have reached the top 5 on Hype Machine chart, with ‘And Tragic’ and ‘Suckerpunch’ reaching the #1 spot. Online tastemaker support has come by way of The Line of Best Fit, DIY Mag, Indie Shuffle, CLASH, Earmilk, Hilly Dilly, All Things Go (Best Songs of the Week), Record of the Day amongst many others. Radio support has come internationally from Guy Garvey (Elbow) on his 6Music show (UK), P3 (Sweden), NRKP3 (Norway) 3FM (Holland) and Radio Eins (Germany). They also recorded and released a COVER of Harry Styles ‘Sign Of The Times’ for the Mahogany Sessions.
Caroline and Emil, who were born and raised in the coastal city of Gothenburg, met at summer camp as children and formed a strong, life-long bond that pulses powerfully decades later. Friendship swiftly blossomed into romance and by their late teens they were a couple; by their early twenties they were married. The childhood sweethearts then embarked on a dream honeymoon to New York City, staying so long they had to traverse the Atlantic multiple times to renew visas. Eventually, funds dwindled and they had to find work, with Emil reviving his teenage modeling career to supplement their vacation of a lifetime – but that’s far from the end of the hurricane tale.
A chance encounter at an Eric Roberson gig – part of their trip’s purpose was to absorb as much music as they could – led to a wild journey with soul sensation Tye Tribbett. An instant connection erupted between the trio (“he had a crazy energy,” says Emil), and they spent a few heady months touring the East Coast as part of his gospel choir and immersing themselves in a completely different lifestyle than they were used to, fulfilling one of Caroline’s lifetime goals in the process. But still, they weren’t done.
Emil and Caroline lived a full, enviable life before deciding to relocate to Stockholm and focus on themselves. Life, of course, had different plans, and soon they were blessed with children; and this is where ViVii begins life in earnest. Perhaps surprisingly, young children didn’t derail musical ambitions – quite the opposite. “When the kids came we got to actually write and record,” explains Emil. “When they arrived the structure came into our lives. We knew we had to do it then.”
So the duo got down to business on their own sounds, fusing tones and melodies and taking inspiration from the music of their youth: the old tunes crackling on grandparents’ vinyl records, hymns from church, indie-pop jewels, classical opuses (“Bach, of course,”) and gospel choirs. Still, something was missing…With Anders thrown into the mix, ViVii galloped into life: “he slowly but surely grew into our producer and a third member of ViVii.
It’s taken ViVii decades to reach this point – a fairytale ending with glorious music to show for it. Everything has led them to a dizzy high; but this is no true end to anything – this is just the beginning.