When we made a list of 20 New Bands To Watch Out For, Vacationer was an easy choice, and what triggered it all was “Trip.” While most band names seem like random combinations of words and/or letters, Vacationer‘s actually clues you in to exactly what the band’s sound is all about: “electronic music for the beach.” With summer approaching quickly, the timing couldn’t be better.
We’ve got a lighter, more euphoric remix “Trip” below, courtesy of Teen Daze. We also talked with Vacationer’s Kenny to find out a little more about the song, the sound, and what else he’s been listening to.
Click “next” or hit shift+right to read the interview…
Interview by Brendan Klinkenberg
How did Vacationer start?
I started writing songs with Vacationer about two years ago now. I started in about the summer of 2010 by inquiring to my friends about working with some electronic producers and songwriters, because I’d been getting more and more into electronic music at the time. It had been a snowball since around 2005, since I’d found stuff like Four Tet, and even Venetian Snares and stuff like that. I was getting into drum & bass and interested in some more organic, songwriting type of electronic music.
I had asked my friend if he knew anybody up in New York that would be interested in working with me. He gave me a list of a few artists, and on this list was this band called Body Language. I heard that they had worked with Passion Pit and, from there, I got pretty into the Body Language material. They were nice enough to have me come up and session with them.
From that first session on we just seemed to really hit it off and were super productive. From then on, every time I went up there we seemed to come away with one or two songs. To have that every other weekend, I would say after a few months we had enough for an EP and then we came up with a band name and started putting some videos together and, you know, just formulating it into a real band.
How would you describe your sound?
I like to call it electronic music for the beach. That’s for people who have never heard the music before. It’s got elements of…we try to walk the line between chill and dance music, but there’s definitely some Polynesian influence to it. Also, a modern, shoegaze influence as well, and some classic dream-pop.
Can you tell me a little bit about “Trip?”
I remember when I first heard the initial little loop for that song, I was out on bass for this band. I don’t know what city I was in but they emailed me a loop of that sample, just a minute or a minute and a half of the sampling on that song and I was pretty floored by it, because that was the first thing we had done with a hip-hop tempo. I thought it was a super creative spin to put Polynesian type arrangements on top of hip-hop. I had never heard anything like that before or that style, and then by the time I got home I was ready to put in the vocals. It came together very quickly.
I also think that it was a starting point for some of the other songs we did, like “Good As New” and “Everyone Knows.” It was a very inspirational song for that style.
Do you use a lot of samples throughout the album?
We’ll listen to a lot of records and try to emulate them, or take a lot of vinyl crackle. But for the most part we try to make the sounds ourselves. Mostly so we can’t run into any legal issues.
What have you been listening to recently?
I’ve been getting really into this Geographer record. It’s on Modern Arts records, it’s really good. I don’t know what their story is, a friend recommended it to me, but it’s this really cool crossover between Wilco-style alt-country and then some New Order-style new wave. Which I guess sounds kind of weird coming off my tongue, but it’s really good.
That’s all my questions, you got anything else?
I just hope everyone has a great summer and enjoys themselves.