It’s been a colossal and surprising year for Newcastle outfit Vacations, but now they’re ready to capitalise on their huge hype with new single ‘Avalanche’.
‘Avalanche’ is a shimmering indie-pop gem, with frontman Campbell Burns’ signature voice front and centre. The track is stunning from start to finish, beaming of sunlit festival nostagia.
The song comes after the band went viral – and we mean viral – on TikTok which saw them reach the top 30 of the US Viral Charts. Now, with their second album Forever In Bloom on the horizon, the band spoke to Music Feeds about how ‘Avalanche’ came about, and how it fits into their forthcoming record.
But first, give ‘Avalanche’ a spin, here.
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Music Feeds: What is the story behind this new single Avalanche?
Campbell Burns: Avalanche reflects on a period of time where I was managing a lot of aspects of the band, honestly too many in retrospect, but I admire myself for trying all the same. There was a breaking point where we had a 30+ date tour in the USA fall through, along with some other internal factors at the time, that I couldn’t keep doing it. The rate at which we were progressing was outside of my experience. Around the same time, Nate sent through a demo titled “Avalanche” and I found what I was going through, along with the title, to be so visual that I quickly penned everything down. I’m relieved to say that we now have a fantastic team around us so that we can spend more time on our music, rather than worrying about logistics or business.
Jake Johnson: It was our first time meeting and working with Oscar, and first real experience with a producer. On top of that we had one day to record the very first song from the album and in a brand new studio. It was honestly a little daunting, but I think we rose to it well.
MF: Were the recording sessions for the song particularly memorable?
CB: Absolutely, we had ten hours to record Avalanche at 301 Studios, and it was the first time we going to be working with Oscar! Time was not on our side but we managed to pull it off, almost. Nate’s guitar parts and my vocals were recorded at a later date at Sawtooth Studios here in Newcastle. It was a rush trying to get everything done and we were all so focused which definitely led to some good ideas and interesting sounds, but I don’t think I’d ever personally want to record like that again.
MF: Would you agree that on this new album Vacations have further defined their sound?
CB: Not entirely, I’d say we’ve experimented and tried out more ideas than ever before. And with that in mind, it’s left me with further questions on where we can take ourselves in the future.
JJ: I think of it less like we’ve been trying to define our sound, and more like experimenting and broadening what we can do. There’s lots of different sounds on the record, some old and some new, but it’s all “us”.
Nate Delizzotti: The new album was definitely an opening into writing and recording completely different to previous releases. We worked on it as a band and brought all of our collective tastes and opinions into the sessions, resulting in a lot of experimenting. This way, Vacations will always evolve from release to release, which makes it hard for us to have a definitive sound or genre, but I like to think that what you’ll hear with Forever in Bloom will be sonically definitive to where the four of us were during the time of its birth.
MF:What are the elements that are essential to make up a typical Vacations song?
CB: For me, at least the material I write in the band, always interplay between the two guitars, a boppy bass line that works with a solid groove and a lot of vocal harmonies.
Jake: Some bright dreamy guitars and a groove to dance to. A big dose of Campbell’s voice also helps.
MF: How did Oscar Dawson’s (Holy Holy) involvement in the new album influence the results?
CB: We’ve never worked with a producer before, so to work with someone who has a wealth of experience and their own unique musical background is extremely refreshing. He’d essentially coach us through each song, offering ideas and suggestions that would keep us from going too deep in our own echo chamber. There was a natural back and forth since we all got along so well too! It felt extremely casual working together, especially when we were locked down at the Grove. We’d try out any and every idea and see what felt best, collectively. It was fun!
Jake: Having Oscar was great for heaps of reasons, he was a wizard for ideas and so excited and enthusiastic to be throwing all our creativity at the wall and seeing what sticks. But it was also great having an outside, experienced voice to say “that’s awesome, lets zero in on it,” and “that’s shit, chuck it out and let’s try again.”