Viva Sounds 2019 Review

Linn Koch-Emmery

We returned to a not-so-rainy Gothenburg on the West Coast of Sweden for the second edition of Viva Sounds back in December. As with most things in December, this review was put on hold whilst we worked on our Christmas bellies but now they’ve started to subside, the real work begins and rounding off what was another great festival is top of the priority list.

Remembering back to a hazy Friday night (thank you Fireball shots), the festival started at the cosy Holy Moly watching Danish singer Dopha gently cruise through her set of brand new material stirring up thoughts on a slightly more poppy blend of country folk that reminds me on further listening of a voice of Regina Spector blended with Taylor Swift. Maybe that’s quite a statement, but it was two months ago now and might notes are a little skewed…

Sam Florian followed with amorphous, vapour infused production on lo fi tracks worth a mention here before great dinner of Middle Eastern food at Silvis and a short walk down to Cafè Hängmatten to watch local boys The Bongo Club thrash through their set in the expected emphatic fashion. Ever the live band, the Swedish four piece boasts a rhythm section that would be the envy of any indie band giving guitartists Jesper Jansson and Erik Ahlblom freedom to express themselves as only guitarists know how. A short trip upstairs to Musikens Hus to watch Linn Koch-Emmery, one of my personal favourites for a couple of years now, and still every time I see Linn perform I believe she is primed for bigger stages across Europe. ‘Waves’ has been a track I’ve played on repeat for over a year, if you haven’t heard her yet I suggest you start here.

Without going into late night Friday night antics this year (no late night Robbie Williams being forced down my throat by one Mattias Tell), Saturday was a good day for many reasons. Man Utd thrashed City, Anthony Joshua slapped Ruiz around, and it was a great night for live music, which was obviously why we were in Gothenburg to begin with… We’d been tipped by a friend to check out Toi Let and absolutely loved it, some of the drumming was on another level and really made the noisy instrumentalist standout from the crowd. Another local act and one we are very familiar with here at Mystic Sons HQ in a polluted London, Mimi Bay followed and was a particular highlight of the festival. Armed with just a guitar and a voice that drew drastic comparisons to Nina Perrson, Mimi is an artist to keep a close eye on in 2020 with big things planned. Oceanen hosted Bella Union’s Pom Poko from Norway to claim the prize of the most entertaining act of the festival, purely party hits and energy on stage from start to finish, a very impressive performance.

Other notable performances were from Arvid Nero and Slowgold leaving the only UK act on the bill, Red Rum Club, to close the bill in chaotic fashion with a stage invasion whilst playing final song ‘Would You Rather Be Lonely’ from which we have a video that may never see the light of day. Time will tell, but another stellar effort from a festival that continues to punch well above its weight.

Also – worth a mentioning if Gothenburg in for next years Viva Sound. Go get some pizza from Kafé Magasinet - we live for pizza after all and we will be back I hope next year (well, technically this year because we are so late in writing this). Viva la Sweden xx

More Reviews

NEW MUSIC DISCOVERY - 03.02.23
14 min 34 sec ago

Dan San - 'Hard Days Are Gone'

Young Fathers - 'Heavy Heavy'
1 hour 50 min ago

9/10

NEW MUSIC DISCOVERY - 02.02.23
23 hours 58 min ago

Zoon - 'A Language Disappears'

Dave Rowntree - 'Radio Songs'
1 day 1 hour ago

7/10

NEW MUSIC DISCOVERY - 01.02.23
1 day 23 hours ago

GoGo Penguin - 'Glimmerings'

Gena Rose Bruce - 'Deep Is The Way'
2 days 1 hour ago

7/10

NEW MUSIC DISCOVERY - 31.01.23
3 days 4 min ago

Jake Whiskin - 'Joyride (Home Demo)'

JW Francis - 'Dream House'
3 days 1 hour ago

8/10

More News

James Vickery announces new EP 'Sheet Music'

After delighting us with a flurry of warm and enticing releases these last few months, James Vickery returns to announce the details behind his new... 7 min 28 sec ago

Unknown Mortal Orchestra announce new double album 'V'

Following on from the release of their highly-praised 2018 LP 'IC-01 Hanoi', Unknown Mortal Orchestra have now announced their plans for a double... 1 hour 59 min ago

The Tallest Man On Earth announces new album 'Henry St.'

Following on from the release of his highly-praised 2019 LP 'I Love You, It’s a Fever Dream', The Tallest Man On Earth - project of Swedish musician... 17 hours 50 min ago

Rachel Chinouriri delivers new single 'Maybe I'm Lonely'

After an incredible 2022, which ended with her landing a place on the BBC Sound of 2023 shortlist, Rachel Chinouriri is back once again to offer up a... 23 hours 49 min ago

JAWNY announces debut album 'It's Always Fair, Never True'

After establishing himself with a wealth of shimmering delights these last few years, JAWNY has now announced his plans for his debut studio album,... 1 day 1 hour ago

Orbital collaborate with Penelope Isles on 'Are You Alive?'

With their eagerly-awaited new album landing in just a few weeks, Orbital have now dropped the next cut to be lifted from their forthcoming full-... 1 day 17 hours ago

Death Cab For Cutie announce acoustic version of 'Asphalt Meadows'

Following on from the release of their highly-praised studio album 'Asphalt Meadows' late last year, Death Cab For Cutie have now announced their... 1 day 23 hours ago

Caroline Polachek unveils new single 'Blood And Butter'

With her eagerly-awaited new album arriving in just a few weeks, Caroline Polachek has now unveiled the next cut to be lifted from her forthcoming... 2 days 1 hour ago

HMLTD announce new album 'The Worm'

Following on from the release of their brilliant 2020 debut LP 'West Of Eden', HMLTD have now announced their plans for a new studio album, arriving... 2 days 17 hours ago