Melbourne post-punk quartet RVG present the new single/video, “Common Ground” from their forthcoming album, ‘Brain Worms’, out June 2nd on Fire Records. 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.
Frontperson Romy 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. “I think that there’s something relieving in knowing that no matter what you do you can’t sway certain people’s feelings for you” says Vager. “I wrote ‘Common Ground’ in a deep depression but it has evolved into a mantra to tell myself that there are some things I am unable to change, and that’s okay.”
The accompanying “Common Ground” video is directed by Tom Campbell, and features RVG performing in the round as dancer Jayden Lewis performs the striking choreography of Zoee Marsh. “Together we wanted to do something that was stripped back, reduced to its simplest form, with only the most basic and essential features” says Campbell. “There is no contrivance, no attempt to cover up or hide the infrastructure of the band’s instruments or our film gear, we embrace that chaos, but we also wanted to play with our audiences expectations to land somewhere in the middle of narrative and performance. Visually, I wanted to represent the struggle I heard in the lyrics in a physical way. How we fight these feelings, how we try to beat them down, or free ourselves from them. These feelings get inside us, under our skin – ridding ourselves of them, or exorcising them from within, becomes a kind of exercise in healing”.
Named for the 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 RVG, 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).
Between the four bandmates 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’ is available in LTD Edition Blue Vinyl, Black Vinyl & CD. Out 2nd June.