Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It's tempting to want to just go barefoot, everywhere, at the behest of nearly any Viva Voce song. It's tempting to want to just get out of the shower and air dry yourself, walking around the house with everything hanging out. You feel so loose. You're wearing no pants. You're wearing no bra and you're not giving two shits who sees you doing it. You almost hope they get an eyeful and take it with them. Who cares? It's not going to matter if the neighbor sees you bare and relaxed in the front yard, picking up the morning paper sitting at the end of the sidewalk. They're never going to bring it up around you so it's almost as if it hadn't happened and, the beauty of it is that it would give you license to just keep right on doing it, feeling good and carefree.
Viva Voce - or, more specifically Kevin and Anita Robinson - makes us intimately feel the best parts of waking up and the best parts about staying out all night long, until the fields start to get damp and hidden by the fog rolling in. The Portland, Oregon, band makes us feel like we've got nothing better to do than to sit on our patio, drenched, no dripping with a pale but vibrant splash of sunshine and a good drink in our hands. As a matter of fact, there is nothing better to do than that - to just sit and be unpressured. It's when you physically feel your heart rate slow to the point of crawling, where you're unmotivated but still as stimulated as you'd ever care to be. It's about being consumed with the all of the things that bring you complete happiness, even if that list is small.
The Robinsons tend to find joy in the littlest things and we're wont to defend such a thing by saying, "Well, isn't that the point?" Their songs are about open spaces and the feelings of open spaces - what that does for the skin, for the lungs and for the soul. Anita sings, at one point, "I'm feeling so excited/To get some peace and quiet/Breathe in the air so fine." It's just the tonic that she's looking for, right then and there, and it's probably what makes her tick most of the time. It's easy to feel encompassed in the holistic properties of general wellness. It's usually attaining it that's so challenging. Viva Voce makes this seem so simple though. It's all there to be had. Anita sings on "Cool Morning Sun" - from the group's latest album "The Future Will Destroy You" - "Cool morning light/Keeps you in my sight/Cool morning sun/Halos everyone/And I feel lucky for a change/Sometimes things can rearrange." She makes all of our problems go away. She actually makes our entire future go away, leaving us here, lingering safely.