Q&A with Chicago’s V.V. Lightbody

V.V. Lightbody, the moniker Chicago musician Vivian McConnell has coined for her ethereal debut solo project, performs in Bowling Green Wednesday at 10 p.m. at Tidballs. She shares the bill with fellow female acts Homme, a Chicago avant-garde rock duo, and Bowling Green’s Rose Hotel.

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McConnell also lends her talents to Chicago’s critically adored indie rock band Santah, in addition to being the front woman of four-piece Grandkids.

With V.V. Lightbody, McConnell said she’s keen on producing a sound that soothes. Her hope is that V.V. Lightbody’s debut record “Bathing Peach,” (which has an unofficial summer 2017 release date) can serve for listeners as a therapeutic escape from the myriad of battles and struggles we confront each day.

“I want V.V. Lightbody to be something somebody can put on if they want to be rocked to sleep, step away for a moment from the shit-show that we face every day,” McConnell said.

Check out an interview with V.V Lightbody below, and follow her on Facebook for tour dates and live videos.

How long have you been making music under the moniker V.V. Lightbody?

I believe I performed under the V.V. Lightbody name for the first time about a year ago, but the solo project has been around for a while (in my head, at least). Being able to choose a name to perform under has been an important transition for me as a musician; it allows me liberties that I felt I didn’t have playing under my real name.

I love the song that you performed for the SNARLED session. I was really struck with how you described the feeling you want your solo project to evoke (how after a day submerged in the ocean you still feel the sensation of waves rocking you). Would you say that is still an accurate description?

This feeling is something very dear to me. On family trips, I would swim in the ocean for so long that I would go to sleep rocking in the waves still. Even though I grew up in the Midwest, I’ve always felt connected to the ocean. I love music that is soothing and cyclical, make it reliable and comfortable. I want V.V. Lightbody to be something somebody can put on if they want to be rocked to sleep, step away for a moment from the shit-show that we face every day.

I also really loved “Fish In Fives,” on your bandcamp page. Is there currently any other place to hear V.V. Lightbody music right now? Can you offer up any details about your debut release?

I am currently recording a solo record, “Bathing Peach,” and all I can say is that it should be no later than summer of 2017. There will be live videos popping up in the near future, but I’m keeping things contained on purpose (although I’ll be touring to get the word out).

You’ve described V.V. Lightbody as nap-rock on your Facebook page. From the small bit of music I’ve heard I’ve come to understand that means tranquil soundscapes paired with equally dreamy lyrics. Am I off on that assumption?

This project has been a really exciting lyrical project for me because I can write from a first person perspective but maintain certain fictional aspects. That being said, I tried to keep my lyrics direct but maintain a certain level of “dreaminess”. I am a huge dream person – I dream every single night and sometimes I wish I didn’t. A lot of these songs mix real life experiences with my subconscious, human life vs. nature, etc. Some lyrics just paint the environment around the person in the song.

Are there any albums/musicians that you would say have been particularly influential throughout the process of writing songs for V.V. Lightbody?

I’ve always had such a fond spot for Devendra Banhart. He’s so delicate and light-hearted at times. His album “Cripple Crow” has been one that I can lean on when I need it, but it still gets weird/groovy in certain spots. I also had a big Brazilian music phase – was crazy about Caetano Veloso, Cartola, Gil Gilberto, Guilherme Coutinho, etc. for a while. Jessica Pratt was really big for me and of course, forever and always, Queen Joni.

What’s it like to reunite with former tour mate Rose Hotel and also just share a bill with a collection of talented female talent? What can attendees expect from your set?

Jordan has been an incredible and inspiring person in my life from the moment we met. Buffalo Rodeo and Santah were touring together about 2 years ago and we instantly bonded. I am honored that she’ll be playing with us at Tidballs and I think the night will be truly special. Home has never been to BG, so I can’t wait to show them a wonderful time. They are one of the best bands in Chicago at the moment and some of the most talented musicians i’’ve ever met. Lots of powerful women doing badass things! This is one of the shows that I’m maybe looking forward to the most on tour.12924534_548090295372603_4641786031239138245_n

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