RVG 'Brain Worms' LP
A pivotal record for contemporary times; bright, free, adamant, optimistic. Brain Worms is RVG’s fullest, most pristine album yet.
All throughout Brain Worms, it’s apparent that this is a band in very fine form. Album opener ‘Common Ground’ sets the tone for what’s to come; a shiny, thrilling, punch of an album, with all the beloved RVG hallmarks. Vager’s voice is unfiltered and commanding as ever when delivering her clever, not-quite-ironic lyrics. Here, though, those lyrics feel so much less resigned to yearning, and so much more defiant and joyous.
‘Tambourine’ is the only Covid song Vager wrote when “trying not to write Covid songs”, and it’s a painfully honest portrait of grieving mid-isolation. ‘Brain Worms’ tells the all-too-familiar story of a person falling down the internet rabbit hole and finding comfort in conspiracies. ‘Nothing Really Changes’ is a keys-heavy new wave-ish thing, while closer ‘Tropic of Cancer’ sparkles with Vager’s self-assured new manifesto: I know what I’m like, and I know how I get. If you think I’m strange, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Bloxham, Nolte, and Wallace are flawlessly adept in bringing Vager’s songwriting to life. Recorded in London at Snap Studios with James Trevascus (Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, PJ Harvey), all ten tracks surge with lush sounds and clear intentions and the magic of an acoustic guitar once owned by Kate Bush, given to her by Tears for Fears (who, legend has it, wrote ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ on it).
Between the four bandmates lead singer and guitarist Vager, guitarist Reuben Bloxham, drummer Marc Nolte and bassist Isabele Wallace this is the most confident they’ve ever felt in RVG. They’ve moved past their influences, pushed themselves, and tried new things. And they have made a record they can, by all accounts, call their best.
“Brain Worms feels like the antithesis to what a post-pandemic record could easily be. For a band who were already writing music about being reclusive “we were depressed and not going outside on our first two albums” the enforced isolation and time to think gave Vager space to write about anything she wanted. And, it turned out, she was ready to write about acceptance.
Label: Fire Records