Local indie rock four-piece Family Vacation recently released a breezy three song EP that is great summer listening. YAARDS is available for streaming and download on bandcamp or below, and a few listens make apparent their skill for writing memorable, fun jams, with thought-provoking imagery. The EP was recorded mostly live in a North Philly basement, showing that Family Vacation’s sound can thrive in any setting.
The opening of “Pigeons” begins with a dreary bass line and quick drums, as the guitars screech in walls of distortion. The track settles down with a more somber riff and echoing guitar, and Cody Bluett shares thoughtful meditation that leads him to bigger concerns, “I wonder what the pigeons call me after i give them all of my bread / Something tells me its not what i think / I hope it’s not God.” It’s funny how a simple day at the park can lead to you questioning if flying rats perceive you as a supreme being, and whether or not your own existence is just as tunnel-visioned.
“Photograph” starts off soft and reflective. The lines “used to care for all of the faces, but especially yours, especially yours” hold a lot of weight and bring up questions as to who is at fault in the mess they are dealing with. The music starts to dissolve, but Luke Harsel signals in the the second verse with a faded yelp, “you said memory was no photograph,” and the band intertwines intricate riffs and drums with a sense of laid-back precision. The song comes to its climax as Harsel belts “I know, I know you sold it!,” and heavy drum fills beckon in full guitar strums.
“Darlene” is a sublimely relaxing track that builds huge, rocking instrumentals around the infectious chorus. The lines “cruisin’ down the highway / in the late summer heavy rain / thoughts about the shoreline / falling all around my brain” are repeated throughout, making for simple and serene conclusion to the EP.
YAARDS is Family Vacation’s first release since their debut full length two years ago, and it resonates even more than that release. The EP channels poetic lyrics by dual frontmen, as well as a great mix of sullen and upbeat instrumentals that are always doing something interesting. In addition, the three songs are cohesive and convey feelings similar to that of trying to let go and relax on a what otherwise seems like a humdrum day.
Featured image taken from music video filmed by Mike Williams.