Being Norwich based, getting an email from AViVAA threw us somewhat. Initially we wondered what the city’s largest employer wanted to talk to us about. Had they formed a choir and were looking for exposure? Was our writing ability so amazing that they wanted to offer us some special insurance cover in case something ever happened that diminished it? Clearly it was never going to be the latter and whilst the former wasn’t entirely out of the question (we have had some pretty odd emails in our time on the site), it wasn’t actually representatives from the former Norwich Union contacting us at all.
In fact it was an email introducing us to Aviva Payne and Matais Coulter, a pair of 19 year olds from Australia who do a very nice line in muted, distressed electronic pop. The duo has just released their second single, “XX”, and while you may imagine it to be homage to or cover of The XX, the influences and comparisons lay elsewhere. Not that they are hidden, for the band themselves acknowledge the likeness to aspects of the work of Lana Del Ray, and it would be churlish to try and pretend they are not there. But there is a lot more to AViVAA than ‘they sound a bit like Lana’.
They are not as obsessed with ‘vintage’ for example, instead focusing on the sensual and soulful melody. The cool electronica glistens next to the soft and wonderfully lazy beat. It’s a bit like watching an old swinger dancing in his three-piece suit, hat and tie. Shoes polished impeccably, he glides and swirls perfectly with the rhythm, his moves practiced and precise yet unhurried. He dances with grace and elegance, entirely at his own pace but never out of time.
The harmonies are haunting, disarming even and the whole package is one of sublime beauty. It’s delicate, poised and enthralling, a magical and potent elixir that leaves you feeling fuzzy, warm and happy. Aviva’s vocals are sultry and seductive, ”All I know is that I want to kiss you” she whispers as the piano drips notes effortlessly at our feet. She may not be able to deliver on that, but we’ve already been kissed by the melody and it felt so good.