RVG announce their new album, Brain Worms, out June 2nd on Fire Records, and share lead single/video, “Nothing Really Changes.” All throughout Brain Worms, it’s apparent that RVG are in very fine form. Named for the hyper-recognizable experience of each day bearing witness to a world of private obsessions being aired out in the infinite, Brain Worms may not be wholly new territory for the Melbourne post-punk band and its lyricist/frontwoman Romy Vager, but this time around, there’s a newfound radical acceptance glistening overtop everything.
On Brain Worms, bandmates Reuben Bloxham (guitar), Marc Nolte (drums), and Isabele Wallace (bass) are flawlessly adept in bringing Vager’s songwriting to life.
Recorded in London at Snap Studios with James Trevascus (Billy Nomates, Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, The Goon Sax), all ten Brain Worms 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).
“Nothing Really Changes” is a keys-heavy new-wave track that “started off as a songwriting experiment to write something catchy with an obnoxious riff, a cross between Divinyls and ‘Smoke on the Water,’” Vager says. “It’s a song about missing someone but protecting yourself from being hurt.”
The accompanying video was directed by Hayden Somerville at the Rippon Lea Estate. “The words and music painted this haunted manor world in my head,” says Somerville. “A lifeless body represents a past relationship so nicely, while also acting as a fantastic listener for Romy. I think it’s all very therapeutic.” Vager adds, “This new record has been about taking risks so I really put myself outside of my comfort zone to make it work. I’m really proud of what we’ve made, the video compliments the melodrama and playfulness of the track perfectly.”
After a momentous first five years — finding critical acclaim for their 2017 debut A Quality of Mercy, landing on countless end-of-year Best Of lists, and playing alongside some of the world’s biggest acts — RVG released their second album Feral as the world was locking down in 2020. Feral was hailed by Rolling Stone Australia as “the record of a lifetime,” but between the four bandmates, Brain Worms is the most confident they’ve ever felt in RVG. They’ve moved past their influences, pushed themselves, and tried new things. And they made a record they can, by all accounts, call their best.
“Hype is scary. After two years of COVID it felt like the hype had gone down so we were able to just do stuff,” says Vager. “This time around we were like, this is what we’re doing, we’re taking control, we’re taking risks, and we’re going to make an album that sounds big so that when we hear it on the radio we want to hear it again. If we could only make one more album, it would be this one.”
RVG will tour Australia later this month with Julia Jacklin before coming stateside for SXSW in March. Following SXSW, the band will join Billy Nomates in April across the UK.
‘Brain Worms’ is available in LTD Edition Blue Vinyl, Black Vinyl & CD. Out 2nd June.