Album: The Sylvia Platters – Vivian Elixir

Vivian Elixir, the new album by Abbotsford, BC band, The Sylvia Platters, which enters the world on cassette and digital download on April 26, is a carefully crafted collection of brightly produced, guitar pop that is certainly worth immersing yourself in.

Latest single, Fools’ Spring, jangles melodically like some early 90s Rough Trade signing before Britpop consumed the Zeitgeist with its jingoistic, fictionalised nationalism. The lyricless, ‘Bah bah bah bah bah’ bridge is rich in ‘wall of sound’esque 60s nostalgia and the musicianship throughout is tightly controlled without seeming overly clinical. Things are kept fresh and beyond simply reverent emulation though through the band’s surprising melodic shifts and driven instrumental work with the bass often meandering unexpectedly within the mix.

At other points during the album, the band play with power pop tropes and the pop driven edges of psych and, on gentler, drum machine peppered, St Catherine, come off like an ambient 80s version of late era Elliott Smith in the song’s emotive melody and quieter vocal style (an album highlight, to these ears at least). Instrumental interlude Green Tea Space Heater is almost over before it’s begun but sonically offers an intriguing glimpse into something more experimental. There are melodies that recall Elvis Costello and, in Heated Meeting, something that almost feels pop-punk, with lead vocals fuzzed up fizzily and guitars rolling out playful solos that might tempt even the most sedentary amongst us to get on our feet. T

he over-whelming feeling throughout is that of a return to the broad brush stroke, melodic world of 90s indie, a welcome place to reside and which The Sylvia Platters clearly feel at home.

Vivian Elixir is a thoroughly enjoyable listen, please do check it out.

Do not forget to grab a cassette.

Written by M. A. Welsh (Misophone)