by Thomas Bedward December 17, 2021
You know all of those warm and fuzzy first-time feelings you get as a teenager; the ones you wish you could hold on to forever? AVIV retrofits those emotions into her songs. The fifteen-year-old Toronto singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist pens the kind of affecting and arresting D.I.Y. pop that’s both nostalgic and prescient. After generating millions of streams independently and receiving acclaim from Atwood Magazine and more, she continues to perfect this approach on a series of singles for Photo Finish Records.
AVIV grew up in a big family of four siblings, including her twin brother. Every Saturday, they went record shopping together on Queen Street in Toronto, picking up classics by Fleetwood Mac, Radiohead, and more. “Most families went to the mall,” she smiles. “We went to the record store together.”
At six-years-old, she studied piano under “an old-fashioned teacher who scared me into practicing and getting good!” Around the same time, she developed her voice and eventually picked up guitar. Casual poetry transformed into songwriting as she regularly played her early compositions for friends and family. Throughout high school, she obsessed over the likes of Clairo, Lorde, and Lana Del Rey.
Once the Pandemic hit, she found herself listening to more music than ever and, at the same time, writing as well. Working with her big brother’s friend Jackson Follemer as co-producer, she regularly took the train to Montreal to visit them at McGill University and started to record music in 2020. Following 'Cookie Dough', her independent single 'Girls In Red' claimed coveted real estate on playlists such as “indie pop and chill” and eventually amassed hundreds of thousands of streams.
“Music became a way to convey my emotions,” she admits. “Since I won’t even talk to my friends about a lot of these things, it’s an outlet for me to talk about things I don’t talk about.”
In her most recent release 'Failed English' the songwriter explores "the somewhat nasty feelings which erupted following a breakup and demonization of the individual who broke up with you as a defence mechanism." With shiny synths, sweet melodies and funk-fueled bubbling beats, "Failed English" highlights the "incongruity of the narrative—detesting your ex while missing them," confides AVIV.
In the end, AVIV preserves feelings you don’t ever want to lose with each and every song. “If my song takes you somewhere emotional, there’s nothing better to me,” she leaves off. “Or, if it makes you answer a question you’ve had about your life, that would be amazing. My songs make me answer my own questions. When I release them, I hope they do the same thing for you.”
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