Covid-19 has changed many of the things Northern Colorado loves about music – some possibly forever – but one thing is becoming apparent: the indomitable spirit of local musicians who continue to create. One such outfit is the Fort Collins-based dream pop band VIVIAN who recently pushed forward the release of their debut full length album The Warped Glimmer, and according to the band, are already well into producing a full length follow-up.
Spacy in all the right ways and saturated in the tell tale signs of art-rock gone pop, The Warped Glimmer is VIVIAN turning on cruise control and putting the seat back for you. It’s a warm envelope to rest in but exciting enough not to put you to sleep.
The guitar/synth two piece is made up of former Stella Luce members Tim Massa and Alana Rolfe who found themselves coming out of a big change leading up to quarantine. Massa went through a divorce and Stella Luce ended after ten years as a band. Then suddenly with a large amount of free time on their hands, they began cranking out songs. “There’s a sense of urgency but an overwhelming sense of loss,” says Rolfe, “It’s so confusing it makes your head want to split in half.”
“In the last two years I really got into home recording and beat production,” Massa says. “I was working on some stuff to stay busy as Stella Luce was winding down and Alana took an interest in collaborating. I was all-over that because everything I was doing was very much lacking vocals and that sort of top melody that she provides,” he said.
After recording mostly at home, Massa and Rolfe knew they needed an outside perspective so they recruited the help of producer Chris Beeble of The Blasting Room in Fort Collins to mix half the album and John Michael Landon of Estuary Recording Facility in Austin, Texas to handle the second half. That polish shines through particularly on the single “Tick Tock Talk” (video below) and my personal favorite “Break” where we get a taste of Massa’s and Rolfe’s pop side.
While there are moments that feel like a band still finding their voice, The Warped Glimmer is a strong first step out the door into the new world of music. The bones are there for something special and it will be exciting to see what they do next.