It’s been two years since Newcastle indie pop quartet Vacations released their debut album. Now, the group have returned with their latest LP Forever in Bloom.
The tracks on Forever in Bloom are full of bright synths, dreamy guitars and punchy drums, creating a danceable groove that is consistent for the duration of the album. The album dips its feet into dream pop and shoegaze, with the group not shying away from reverb-drenched hooks. The album’s sound is slick and polished thanks to the aid of Holy Holy’s Oscar Dawson who handled production duties.
The band have kindly shared with the AU review an exclusive playlist containing tracks that influenced the making of Forever in Bloom. Give the playlist a spin and read on as we hear from each band member:
“Tailwhip” – Men I Trust
I adore Men I Trust’s bass-lines, who doesn’t? I love how melodic they are and how they’re placed upfront, I found this approach inspiring for songs like “Panache”. That song existed as an old demo that was quite guitar-focused, when I was re-working it I shifted the spotlight over to the bass and it completely changed the mood.
“Mood” – Porches
I could honestly pick any song off Pool by Porches, that whole album got me into the DX-7 and the Juno 106. They’re absolutely gorgeous synthesisers that complement our guitar tones. I used the Juno a lot on the new album.
“Friday I’m In Love” – The Cure
I grew up listening to The Cure because of my mum, and in a lot of ways they’ve influenced the music I like to listen to and what I want from our own music. The atmospheric pop and shoegaze sound finds its way into Vacations very easily. “Friday” was a very direct influence for me, particularly with tracks like “Glow”.
“So Good At Being In Trouble” – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
UMO are such a fun band to listen to, and the basslines are so dynamic and lively. I’d been playing it a lot lately when we went in to write and record a few tracks, one of them ending up as “Wildflower” and so a lot of the same sounds and techniques bled through onto making this song.
“Stream” – Last Dinosaurs
This band has been a huge influence on my song writing since their first EP. “Stream” was a non-single album track on their sophomore album Wellness, but it always stood out to me above the rest. The duet, the crystallised synths, punchy drums, and verb’d out guitars had a massive impact on me and I tried to recreate that feeling as much as I could on our record.
“Reflektor” – Arcade Fire
Bongos and percussion. It brings out such a fun and unique element to a song and “Reflektor” proves that. I have a folder of percussive house loops that I tried to sneak in every song that would benefit from it, and I think it really helped bring out a new dynamic coupled with Joey’s drum patterns.
“Dreams” – Fleetwood Mac
This track along with its album Rumours feature some of the nicest, most crisp acoustic drum tones ever recorded in my opinion and served as a good reference point for some of the sounds we were trying to pull in the studio.
“Birch Tree” – Foals
This song was a great source of inspiration for me with some of the drum tones for the album due to the clever and well executed blend of a vintage drum sample machine used alongside an Acoustic Kit.
Feature photo by Charlie Hardy.