One might imagine a band that would christen itself after a Latin phrase might be a little loftier than your garden variety Indie Rock band, but Viva Voce doesn’t have a pretentious 4AD bone in its musical body. The band was formed in 1998 by husband-and-wife duo Kevin and Anita Robinson in their hometown of Muscle Shoals, Ala., naming their new group after the literal Latin for “living voice“ but which can generally be translated as “word of mouth.”
After a stop in Nashville, the pair settled in Portland, Ore., and began building a solid fan base for their ephemeral Shoegaze soundscape.
The first few Viva Voce albums — 1998’s Hooray for Now, 2003’s Lovers Lead the Way, 2004’s The Heat Can Melt Your Brain — were created by the Robinsons on their own and featured an interesting mix of Ambient contemplation and Psychedelic explosion, which proved to make them an attractive opening act for the likes of The Shins and Jimmy Eat World.
When the Robinsons began preparing
for The Future Will Destroy You, the new Viva Voce album, the
Blue Giant ethic leaked into the writing process, forcing the couple to
deconstruct their songs and work them down to an elemental level until
they evolved into a new yet oddly familiar sound, a Psychedelia that is
both soulful and forceful. As the title implies, the lyrics veer to the
bleaker side of current affairs but the new Viva Voce signals a
brilliant developmental step for a band that already had nailed down
their distinctive differences.
VIVA VOCE plays the free MidPoint Indie Summer Series June 24 with guests PRUSSIA and THE KICKAWAYS. Get show and Fountain Square details here. Read more about The Kickaways here.