Viv Albertine To Release Xmas Single

viv albertine mainViv Albertine (yes, of The Slits) has been recording her debut solo album this year and will be releasing an Xmas single soon.

I was excited yesterday, thinking about the first time I saw The Punk Rock Movie, over 20 years ago, now making my way to a studio near London’s Brick Lane to stop by the recording for said Xmas single.  Having contributed to the Pledge Music drive for her solo album earlier this year and having caught Viv’s support slot for The Damned at The Roundhouse a few weeks ago, I was curious. From what I’d heard so far, Viv’s songs are very idiosyncratic, glimpses of her private world; melody meeting swirling, grinding noise.  The single is to be called “Xmas Single” and is about preferring the holidays when you’re single.  When I arrived, they were set up to begin recording “Confessions Of A MILF” (which will be the title track of the record).  Sarah, the bassist, also being American, told me “This is what we’re doing for Thanksgiving, and Viv’s our bird.”  I laughed and not wanting to be in the way, went to the control room. Having only had three hours sleep the night before, I sank back into the couch and let my imagination take play.  The song seemed to me a dark, majestic butterfly procession.  These fantastic creatures rapidly changing size and shape along their stop-start way, flickering in and out of the visible world.  They flip and spin through the air, suspending anything that obstructs their path in glittering fairy dust, hard as diamonds.  A heavily effected guitar is punctuated by the kick drum, a high vocal melody hovers prettily over this shadowy tribal throb.  The lyrics are intensely personal – “I chose being an artist over being a wife, now I’m going to lead a very lovely life”.

In this rant against domesticity, at the cry of “Shoes off!” the insects morph into huge, monstrous marching figures, tearing chasms through the air as their menacing queen’s doll-like chants grow ever more crazed.  This over rolling waves of sludgy noise with drums thrashing with a pulse about to burst.  So I scribble down during the final take.  Viv has been intensely focused throughout the recording and coming into the control room to listen back, remains so.  Standing in place, she begins a march of her own, rocking left foot, right foot, in complete concentration.  Breaking stride only to point out a bass string breaking on the final take, delighted though as it adds to the enormity of the sound.  On the song’s final note, a smile beams across her face.  She is thrilled with what they’ve created.  It’s going to be good.  I must admit it’s been stuck in my head since I left the studio over 20 hours ago.

And what are Viv’s plans for the holidays?  Working on her book, a memoir.  “Not all about punk, but more a girl becoming a woman.”

There’s still 6 days left to pledge to her campaign.  You can do so here.  £8 gets you the new album.  Additional bundles are available with the Flesh e.p., artwork, handwritten lyrics and other goodies.

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