Vacationer – Gone
March 20, 2012
What it sounds like: Easy-going indie pop/rock with synth, piano, and dream pop influences. Heavy on the effects – minimal on the physical instruments.
Vacationer is the new(er) project from Kenny Vasoli, who found semi-fame back in the early to mid 2000s as the leader of the emo-pop/rock band The Starting Line. Geez, does anyone else remember their biggest single from their first record, The Best Of Me? I was dating a girl at the time when I left small-town Pennsylvania to come to school in Nashville, and that song was the anthem, baby. We got older / But we’re still young / We never grew out of this feeling that we won’t give up. My eighteen year old mind wanted to shout that from the rooftops.
Anyways, back to the topic at hand. Vacationer are somewhat of a mystery. There are four dudes in the band, but by listening to the record, how could you ever tell? To say that lead single Trip needs four guys to record it is ridiculous. A huge majority of these songs could have easily been made by a dude sitting in his parent’s bedroom with a knack for GarageBand or ProTools. Music is music – it’s all subjective, obviously – but I prefer something a little more real sounding, and a little less produced than this is.
That isn’t to say it isn’t catchy. Good As New has a wonderful electric string section that has all the makings of an indie-pop hit. The college girls should love it. While this might as well be Kenny’s solo record because they’re mostly his ideas (and most of them are fairly well executed), he’s smart enough to know that nobody is really begging for a new record from “The lead singer of The Starting Line!”. Starting fresh with a new name and not necessarily publicizing who he is was probably a smart move. Let people think this Vacationer band has come catchy tunes, whoever they are. Gone exhibits a simple structure that shows there is strength in withholding all your weapons, and proves that, regardless of any type of shtick that they may be trying for, Kenny and the boys are more than likely doing this type of music better than their peers. Some of it may run together, sure, but this isn’t a greatest hits collection. For a first record, it certainly shows promise.
The difference from these guys and their competitors? They’re not trying to be overly arty. They’re trying to be low-key and catchy, flutes and all. The cover artwork fits the music perfectly – a beach house while the sun is setting with some barren trees. This isn’t music to listen to at the beach while the sun is shining and the bikini-clad girls are sunning themselves and the ripped dudes are surfing up a storm. This is the music to play when the sun is setting, all the tourists have went to party at the strip, and you’re left at your vacation rental with a few friends, ready to relax and enjoy the serenity.
If you had to listen to two tracks: Good As New / Summer End