Portland, Oregon husband-and-wife duo Viva Voce have returned with a new record, Get Yr Blood Sucked Out, which is their first for new label Barsuk. This record is a wonderful collection of instantly catchy yet musically impressive psychedelic rock, and unlike many spousal duos, their sound is larger than their lineup would lead you to believe. Just take a listen to a few of the songs and it's clear that these folk think large and record and compose even larger. With mellow and utterly beautiful moments like "We Do Not Fuck Around" and "Special Thing" (which has a vibe that's rather Lou Reed, if you ask me) fitting in nicely between tribal folk-rock numbers like "Believer" and harder psych-rock numbers like "When Planets Collide" and "Helicopter," Get Yr Blood Sucked Out is a varied and compelling head-trip of a listen. Best number of the record is the epic "So Many Miles," which mixes all of these elements into one loud, gloriously wonderful rock head-trip. All in all, a wonderful little record.
We were able to speak to Kevin Robinson, and though our funky little tape player kind of made part of the interview unlistenable, here's what he had to say:
Tell me a little bit about the recording process.
The recording process for this one was immediate. We didn't really deliberate a whole lot about it. Sometimes the danger of recording at home is you'll spend six months working with no one looking over your shoulder. So we kept everything very deliberate. We didn't obsess too much; we just went in and did it.
When you play live, do you perform as a two-piece, or do you expand your lineup?
We've toured as a two-piece for about four years, and we've just added a new member; her name's Kim Baxter, and we bring her out for a handful of shows. But yeah, the core is me and Anita, but it's nice to play with others. We could do the album by itself; it's not really a stripped-down two-piece construction at all. It's tricky, though. It's taken me about ten years to figure it out. (Laughs) It's a secret family recipe to how we get things done.
Seeing as this was your first record for Barsuk, do you think you used this opportunity to expand your sound?
Hmmm…maybe. Yeah, it is a new starting point, and I think we definitely thought we had something to say musically and lyrically, so it was a good foot to step out on with them. I don't think it was a conscious decision, but I think we were both ready to do something a little bit different.