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New music review with Viji and Slow Pulp

Our weekly fix of the best new music as Julia Mason brings us her reviews of new singles from Viji and Slow Pulp

Logo for Blowtorch Records blog series Cool Sounds From The Underground

Artist: Viji

Track: Sedative

Vanilla Jenner aka indie musician Viji with new single Sedative
Credit Nicole Ngai

London-based Austrian-Brazilian artist Viji has announced her highly-anticipated debut album So Vanilla which is set for release on 27 October via London tastemaker label Speedy Wunderground. It was recorded predominantly in London, in partnership with four-time Mercury Prize nominated producer and Speedy Wunderground label head, Dan Carey (Fontaines D.C., Kae Tempest, Wet Leg). The album was finished in November 2022, and Viji shares that every song had a different writing process with some seeing her and Carey playing guitar chords together for hours, until the sounds fused into one, and others coming from late night ramblings at home.

Viji has released new single Sedative from the album which is immediately captivating; a hook laden track it references the easy, sleazy sounds of the 90s. Its layered guitars are varied and yet textured but it’s the vocal which dominates here. Edgy and not afraid to combine styles within the track, its melodies and pop hooks blend to make Sedative a track perfect for summer.

Viji, whose real name is Vanilla Jenner, shares the following on the song: “I wrote Sedative about a girl. She’s like a breath of fresh air, and there’s a fine line between friendship and attraction that was hard to navigate. Usually when I meet someone like that I wanna ‘be’ that person, but this time I wanted to be with her."

The single is accompanied by a surreal video directed by Gilbert Trejo. Viji explains: “The scenes unlock the dreamworld inside my head, while being restrained in a padded room. Expect a bit of ‘sucker punch’ with a set of twins in homage to The Shining."

To celebrate the release of the new album Viji will also play a number of instore events and live shows, and next month will play a headline show at The Shacklewell Arms in London.

Viji Live Dates 10th August – The Shacklewell Arms, London 28th October – Jacaranda - Liverpool 29th October – Jumbo - Leeds 30th October – Rough Trade - London ​31st October – Resident – Brighton

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Artist: Slow Pulp

Track: Doubt

Chicago band Slow Pulp
Photo Alexa Viscius

Chicago-via-Madison band Slow Pulp share Doubt the new single from their forthcoming album and ANTI- debut, Yard set for release on 29 September. It follows lead single Slugs and is a track full of dreamy rock with a gorgeous vocal. The lyric “go wash the soap box of your tongue” strikes immediately to the theme of Doubt. It’s a song about begging someone to validate your insecurities and the lyric expresses that perfectly.

With its tight hooks and scuzzy vibes Slow Pulp are definitely one to watch as they head to the UK and EU for live dates at the end of the year.

Lead singer Emily Massey expands on the inspiration behind Doubt: “In my process to fight against self-deprecation, I found this strange new pattern popping up where I fished for critiques from others. I wanted people close to me to validate the things I hated about myself. Self-doubt had found a home in me, it felt safer to stay in this familiar negative space than to like myself. I thought if others shared that with me I wouldn’t have to do the work to change.”

Slow Pulp UK and EU Tour Dates 2023 Wed Nov 29 - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK Thu Nov 30 - Jimmy’s, Liverpool, UK Fri Dec 01 - The Hug and Pint, Glasgow, UK - SOLD OUT Sat Dec 02 - The Workman's Club, Dublin, IR Mon Dec 04 - YES (Basement), Manchester, UK Tue Dec 05 - Strange Brew, Bristol, UK Wed Dec 06 - The Garage, London, UK Thu Dec 07 - The Green Door Store, Brighton, UK Sat Dec 09 - Paradiso Upstairs, Amsterdam, NL Sun Dec 10 - TRIX, Antwerp, BE Mon Dec 11 - L’International, Paris, FR Wed Dec 13 - Badehaus Szimpla, Berlin, DE Thu Dec 14 - Conne Island, Leipzig, DE Fri Dec 15 - Manufaktur, Schorndorf, DE Sat Dec 16 - Gleis 22, Munster, DE


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