Nice to meet you, welcome to the internet.
Vivian Girls began in 2007 within the lofted rooms of a Greenpoint punk house called the Orphanage. It was there that founding drummer Frankie Rose asked Ramone to start a band. Early on, Ramone felt the foundation of Vivian Girls was oddly framed: “People would talk about us with Crystal Stilts and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, who are awesome, but I always thought of us as a punk band.” They rejected comparisons to 1980s British jangle pop; their raw ear-bleeding approach and dark atmosphere made even the radical C86 bands sound sort of fey in comparison. And while Vivian Girls were hardly the first band to fuse girl group aesthetics with rock—see Blondie, the Go-Gos, Cyndi Lauper’s Blue Angel—their rocketfire love songs had grit and abandon. Their sonic formula is hard to decode completely, but it was Rose who introduced the band to a Holy Grail reverb pedal before leaving in mid-2008, tempering out their punk sound with walls of sound and those crucial high-harmonies. (“I’m trying not to give Frankie too much credit,” Captured Tracks owner Mike Sniper tells me, “but she deserves it.”) Learning to project backing vocals over gratingly loud guitars and shitty monitors, Goodman says Vivian Girls became “like harmony bootcamp.”