Vivian Fantasy is the new/renamed project of Richmond, Virginia’s Danny Bozella, who used to make music under the moniker Chemists // 化学者. Bozella’s latest release is a full-length titled Serial Experiments 1: Pink Witch, a bewitchingly dreamlike record that’s as much about conjuring an atmosphere as the songs themselves. As the title suggests, it’s the first of four releases that aim to catalogue all the songs and ideas that Bozella came up with between 2015 and 2017. As such, you could be forgiven for thinking that this would be a jarring collection of demos, but despite never being intended as a cohesive album, the songs are remarkably complementary.
Opening track ‘Strawberry Moon’ is the perfect introduction for a number of reasons. The title alone conjures all the right images, gently fantastical and full of wonder, like childhood dreams that glimmer at the edge of reality. The sound too is evocative of a dreamscape, pastel-coloured swirls of haze hugging Bozella’s smooth vocals. Vivian Fantasy enlists the help of fellow Virginia band The Snuggalos on the title track, another enchanted dream pop song, before ‘Where’s the Fantasy’ glitters like the cosmos twinkling above a 16-bit palm-lined seascape.
‘Are U Clean Yet?’ is a smash hit from an alternative dimension, dripping with a summertime late-night nostalgia, sounding like everyone’s favourite pop song playing at top volume in the club next door, while ‘You Were My Forest’ is a glitched-out heartfelt number, succeeded by an interlude of looped and distorted vocal samples and gauzy instrumentation, before closer ‘Surgeon is Death’ recalls acts such as Passion Pit with its emotive falsetto delivery and shimmering electronics.
If you choose to download the album (which you can do for nothing), you also get two bonus tracks which are well worth your time. Head to the Vivian Fantasy Bandcamp page to gets your hands on it!