<Review by: Aditya Kundalkar>
Vieem is Vanna Mattheus’s artistic alias. The name Vieem comes from the 32-year-old Brooklyn native’s initials and is spelt like the French word for life: ‘vie’. ‘Full of life’ would also be a good way to describe her music. You only need to hear the gospel-like melody of the song “The Miserable Wallflower” and the powerful chorus section of “Be It Hated” – the title track of her self-released debut album – to know that she can belt it out with the best of them. Her voice seems to have all the grace, strength and control that one associates with some serious training and practice.
She’s had plenty of practice, singing since she was six years old with her siblings in a quartet. Musical guidance in those early years came from her father, who was a travelling musician. “He was a songwriter, vocalist, played the piano/organ, accordion within the small community church where he grew up,” said Mattheus in an email interview. “He could be heard on the radio in the late 1960s singing his own originals,” she said.
Mattheus seems to have inherited her dad’s skill for creating radio-friendly tunes. Take, for instance, the song “Why A Reason” for which she’s created a great pop hook with just three notes of a piano, a hook that keeps you from pressing the ‘Next’ button. Although the song “Amidst The Mist” lacks that hook, it is still a thoughtful ballad that deserves a second listen.
Listen to “Amidst The Mist” (she’s working on the music video for this one. Coming soon):
Although her songs haven’t yet received any traditional radio airplay, they have been part of several indie Internet radio stations. Vieem is slowly but surely gaining the attention of the World Wide Web and is making the most of the Internet with a barebones but striking video for her power ballad “If Only You’d Know”. On some level, the comparisons that some other blogs have made to Adele’s “Someone Like You” seem justified – Vieem’s music video is also black-and-white and bleak and she is also seen walking around a cold desolate street. But rather than pass it off as mere imitation, we urge you, dear reader, to look past such comparisons and give Vieem’s voice a listen.
Check out Vieem’s music video for “If Only You’d Know”:
You can listen to all Vieem’s audio tracks here.