A new name to me, Spanish-born Londoner Vivienne Chi succeeds in doing what others in the alt-pop category sometimes fail to do: putting the ‘pop’ in.
Second single ‘Junk’ follows May’s predecessor ‘Vivienne’ – a tune that attracted the attention of BBC Introducing and Spotify’s Fresh Finds. Produced by Brit School graduate Harry Tarlton, ‘Junk’ is immediately catchy from the opening bars – including thoughtful, smart lyrics (“You’re so tongue in cheek girl, you got it, you’ve got it / no fancy education, no daahling, no daahling…”), strong melody lines and an engaging hook. Best of all, it’s idiosyncratic percussive mid-section takes the listener straight into a Notting Hill Carnival parade on Ladbroke Grove.
Chi is concerned about belonging, heartache, and the darker sides of London’s excessive lifestyle. I suppose Madrid and Barcelona have their dark sides too – but in this instance, she was inspired by a more positive story; that of a well-known homeless woman in Camden who, as she says, “always dresses fabulously in what little she has, and is always smiling”. ‘Junk’ is almost a paean to that variety of lifestyle.