2020000

Along with the album announcement, she is sharing a video for the hook-heavy, fuzz-laden new single ‘Sedative’. The new album is due out 27th October via London tastemaker label Speedy Wunderground.

 

Combining fiercely layered guitar melodies with pop hooks and slow, soulful soliloquies, ‘Sedative’ is a perfect introduction to So Vanilla. Speaking on the track, Viji says, “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 new video directed by Gilbert Trejo. Viji says, “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’”.

 

Watch the ‘Sedative’ Music Video:

play video

Referencing the easy, sleazy sounds of the 90s, Viji – real name Vanilla Jenner – has been cementing herself as one of the most exciting alternative artists to watch in the UK right now. So Vanilla 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).

 

Having finished So Vanilla in November 2022, Viji relays that every song had a different writing process – some saw her and Carey playing guitar chords together for hours, until the sounds fused into one, and others came from late-night ramblings at home.

 

Discussing how inspirations come to her songwriting process, Viji mentions that “Down’s” writing session originated from a frustratingly happy period in her life and “Ambien”, “I chipped away at the lyrics the whole summer. The song has so many verses, I wrote around 13 in the end.” The stripped back song Blanket came together quickly. Thinking she was just playing around, Viji then realized it was done. With an eerie cello part and three chords, this was the most serendipitous song recorded on the album.

 

Watch the ‘Down’ Music Video:

play video

Born and raised in Vienna, Austria until the age of 16, she travelled first to the US and then to Brazil to stay with family.  By her own admission there was no alternative music scene in Vienna while she was a teenager, but that didn’t stop her from having an emo punk rock phase aged 13, “I was like, ‘Yep this is what I want to do,’” she says. Her father is a luthier, making and repairing renaissance stringed instruments such as lutes and violas. There were always instruments available for her to play, it was a really normal part of her life – she even built her own mini-harp as a kid. She says. “I started playing classical guitar aged seven, and then I changed to acoustic.” Pretty soon after she was begging her older cousin for use of his rehearsal room where she’d play electric guitar with a drummer friend as a two-piece, who eventually performed in school much to her teacher’s chagrin.

 

After Brazil, she moved to the UK to study music production in Brighton. Although she had written her first songs aged nine, and had carried on writing through her teens, she had never recorded them, and understanding the technicality of production techniques allowed her to grow as a writer and performer.

 

“If you can be self-sufficient you can get stuff done way quicker. If you can make your own music, your own demos, you don’t need to rely on anyone. For writing it means you are not constrained to your voice and an instrument, it opens up a new spectrum of songwriting and creativity,” she explains.

 

After finishing the course she moved to London and started to figure out her own sound. Releasing a single and an EP on Dirty Hit, which pushed her onto the radar of leading cultural figureheads, Viji built a loyal fanbase and received support from the likes of the FADER, DIY, NME, NYLON at press, BBCR1 and BBC Introducing at radio, and playlist support on Spotify from Lorem, Fresh Finds, Our Generation and more.

Now signed to Speedy Wunderground, she cites many of her friends and label mates as part of the current scene in London. “There’s a lot happening here post-covid,” she says. “I end up at around two shows every week, it’s really fun.” Heartworms and Pretty Sick are only a few contemporaries moving around in the same circles.

 

Coming up with the visual concepts for the video elements of her music stretches her creativity even further. “I make most of the treatments myself,” she admits. Although for the first music video that accompanies the album, she worked with Zachary Bailey, an LA based director, known for his slightly twisted and surreal visuals for the likes of Offset and Jean Dawson. Indulging in the weirder side of her ideas ensures that there is a fun and playful element to making music.

 

Her approach to shoe-gazy rock, raw instrumentals and vocal delivery makes her stand out as one of the most exciting UK artists to watch, pioneering what rock music can sound like in the modern era.

Follow Viji:  Instagram | Twitter | TikTok

⇥ Texas & Spooner Oldham Partner Up For New Album

Pick a country