Petersham’s The Vacationists return with haunting and atmospheric new single Bush Turkey. The single bristles with post-punk energy and builds on a recurring minimalistic lead melody to a roaring crescendo. Its restless energy and Lynchian musings on obsession make it The Vacationists’ darkest release to date.
Tomatrax caught up with the band to talk about their latest release.
How did the band form?
Johan: Tom and I started writings and singing some songs a few years ago, inspired by Phil Spector and hazy lofi rock, and not long thereafter we began a collaboration with longtime muse and friend Mooney. Matt is Tom’s brother, and joined us on drums a couple of years ago, on the promise that we’d take a more yacht rocky and post-punky direction. Craig came on board a year ago, and has showered us with atmospheric and thundering keyboards ever since.
Where did the name The Vacationists come from?
Johan: We like thinking about a single or an EP as a trip through some sounds and ideas we want to explore. And being in a band, music already becomes a vacation away from jobs and bills and leaking faucets.
You’ve just released your latest single, how does it feel to have it out?
Tom: It feels good! We are really happy with how the song turned, and it’s always fun to put a new song out into the world.
‘Bush turkey’ was much darker than your previous releases, what was the inspiration behind the song’s themes?
Johan: The mood of the song came from a strange and unsettling dream I had about love and turkeys. It resonated with something, and I have watched enough Twin Peaks to know not to ignore dream intuition. Once awake, the bones of the song was written in half an hour.
Where did you get the idea for the vintage sci-fi style video clip?
Johan: Well the dream that inspired the song was a bit of an uplifting nightmare, and we wanted to capture that mood with the unsettling comfort of nostalgic horror and low budget sci-fi.
The single was recorded and mixed DIY style in living/bed/sun rooms, what made you chose this approach to putting the song together?
Johan: We really love lofi aesthetics.
Craig: Yeah, and we recently realized that the band has enough collective gear and knowledge to record and mix ourselves. While we don’t have access to all the fanciest studio doodads and gadgets, recording at home gives us the freedom to relax and experiment.
Tom: And as a result, the song feels more like The Vacationists than other things we’ve done.
Are there any plans for an EP or LP release?
Johan: We have written a whole bunch of songs lately and are going to workshop them over the coming months to decide the destination for our next musical trip, which will most likely be an EP.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Tom: Now and then but not too often. By the time we have a song done and released we’re already working on our next thing so we generally spend a lot more time listening to demos than the final song.
What music do you listen to?
Mooney: Currently listening a lot to the new Slowdive album, Dark Hours by Ainsley Farrell and the first three albums by the Wedding Present.
Tom: Recently I’ve been pretty obsessed with a few songs: Bob Dylan’s Most Of The Time, Al Stewart’s Year Of The Cat and Mental As Anything’s Live It Up.
Now that the single is out what do you have planned next?
Johan: We are throwing a launch party at Botany View Hotel on August 25th with one of our favourite local bands, Okin Osan. We are also putting together a Halloween gig party at Brighton Up Bar, which should be a ball.
Check out The Vacationists Facebook page to find out more!