Over a Decade Later, the Dissenting Lyrics of Vivian Girls’ “No” Ring Truer Than Ever

In the event of a newly announced Vivian Girls revival, it’s time to dissect the prophetic lyrics of the garage rock three-piece’s 2008 track.

It’s hard to believe that the suffocating social and political climate of 2019 was already permeating our culture in 2008, the year Obama promised change, Tina Fey looked a lot like Sarah Palin, and Be Kind Rewind came out. Yet the dreamy garage rock trio Vivian Girls were already tapping into the exact same energy that forces us to close our Twitter apps after, like, three scrolls: “No, no-no-no,” they sang on their self-titled debut’s standout quick-burner, “No.”

At just over a minute, the track is full of relatable lyrics which still often come to mind when scrolling through endless news stories about dogshit politicians, poisoned air and water, and predatory men. “No, no-no,” I think when I see “Richard Spencer” trending on Twitter again; “No, no-no no-no-no,” I say to myself out loud when my weather app warns be about unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups; “No, no-no-no, no-no-no, no, no, nooo,” is my response any time anyone tells me that even though I don’t like any superhero movies, this one is gonna be totally different. 

“Sick,” the first single from the group’s just-announced follow up to 2011’s Share the Joy, feels right in line with the 2008 track’s sentiment, as Cassie Ramone exhales “Sick again, more often than not at the hands of men.” While it’s not quite as succinct as “No,” “Sick” feels right at home in the Vivian discography.

Memory is out September 20 on Polyvinyl. You can pre-order it here.

Catch the Vivians live this fall at the dates below:

10/04 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent
10/05 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory OC
10/06 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Park
10/17 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
10/18 – Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church
10/20 – Somerville, MA @ Once Ballroom
10/25 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
10/26 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
11/01 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
11/02 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
11/03 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater

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