Getting to sit down with Chicago’s V.V. Lightbody at Audiotree 2018 was an absolute delight. As we chatted over sandwiches on a lovely Saturday afternoon, Vivian McConnell shared some insight on her latest record Bathing Peach, as well as her appreciation for the support of fellow musicians within the Chicago music community. She spoke with us about her coining of the term “nap-rock,” which she uses to describe her music. With dreamy flute flutters woven in throughout and refreshing melodies blended into her sound, I couldn’t agree more. McConnell transports you away to sleepytime bliss with her voice, which she also acknowledges as a key instrument in her music. V.V. Lightbody was the most refreshing set of the weekend, and I already can’t wait until I can see her perform again next.
Check out some highlights from our conversation down below and listen to the whole thing above:
You describe your music as “nap rock.” Could you tell our listeners what that means?
I like to sleep a lot. And I don’t know many people who dont like to sleep. Some people don’t sleep a lot, but I don’t know. I listen to a lot of soft music, and I used to play in two louder rock bands, so I was always writing these soft songs in my bedroom, thinking they were just sleepytime, nap songs. But also, when I play with a live band, there’s drums and bass. So it’s kind of like rock and roll at its core, but you can take a nap listening to it. You know when you like fall asleep on the train on accident? That’s what I want my music to be for people. And then you feel really refreshed.
Where did the name V.V. Lightbody come from?
My great grandmother’s full maiden name is Virginia Lightbody, and I just thought that was such a beautiful name. My grandmother’s a piano player. My great grandpa Lightbody played in a big band, too. So I though, first of all, what a cool last name. It sounds fake. And I was also thinking about carrying on the matriarchy and it’s cool to be able to draw something from my family.
How has your previous work in bands influenced your work as a solo artist?
I think about this a lot. It’s been definitely a shift. In the past, I was in a band with four or five other members, and so it was always a democratic thing, everybody deciding what to do, what sounds good here. But for my solo work, I’m making the decisions. Which is really liberating and scary at the same time. It’s made me a better musician, it’s helped me learn what I want. It is really empowering, but sometimes I wish somebody would be like “that doesn’t sound good.”
V.V. Lightbody kicks off her North American tour with a show in Chicago at The Hungry Brain on October 17th, more info and tickets can be found here!