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It’s time for a vacation! Somewhere “No Place Like Home” (Album review)

Album of the summer: nostalgia edition
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A new year, a new album from the indie-rock band, Vacations. Titled “No Place Like Home,” the album delivered the sentimental feels of summer-esque indie pop on Jan. 12, 2024. In this album, the songs use multiple layers of instruments and vocal effects to reminiscence the old memories of the summertime. The upbeat drums and hitting chords of the guitar build a foundation of a youthful, escapist feeling in their music. It matches the energy of wanting to go on a spontaneous road trip down a long road with your friends as the sun sets on the horizon. 

The Vacations is an Australian band, consisting of four members: Campbell Burns on vocals and songwriting, Nate Delizzotti on the guitar, Jack Johnson on the bass and Joseph Van Lier on the drums. Most know the Vacations from their song “Young,” which came out in 2017 from their album “Vibes & Days” and became a viral TikTok audio in 2022. Many individuals from North America and Australia fell in love with the Vacation’s 1980s-inspired alternative tunes. As a fan who also discovered their music from “Young,” I can claim there is a distinct difference between this album and their past ones. “No Place Like Home” still has that bittersweet feeling of their previous work, but this release seems more hopeful than the rest. 

Despite the overall album bringing an upbeat energy, there is no denying that its last three songs, “Off-Season,” “Terms & Conditions” and “Lost in Translation,” are slower-paced, giving the listener a moment to breathe and take a step back from the other high energy tracks. My favorite song, “Arizona,” holds the biggest shift within the album. It comes out as the most contrasting song because it’s the only one that doesn’t have any vocals. Instead, it begins with faded talking and slow back-and-forth notes on a guitar. Eventually, it comes together with a cooling water-like sound effect, possibly a xylophone. In my head, it reminds me of beach waves gently riding by as the sun shines upon it. The song increases in volume and mixes with other instruments, providing a soothing sensation as if my mind is being cleansed. Towards the middle of the song, listeners can hear faint echoes of young children’s voices, again tying back to that central nostalgic theme of the album. This song encapsulates the hopeful feeling that the band worked to capture with the album; the music hugs your heart without delivering any words.

Back to the title track, “No Place Like Home,” starts with a beautiful low guitar and slower beat of drums, accompanied by a smooth and distant voice from Burns. As the previous songs have, more layers of higher notes add on, amplifying that nostalgic vibe. In the background, light airy notes play, almost resembling stars shooting down a night sky giving off a melancholic dream-like feel. 

The other two songs that stand out to me are “Next Exit” and “Over You.” Both songs hold a faster tempo and upbeatness, specifically in the drums. “Next Exit” was a good choice to start the album, because it grabbed my attention immediately, bringing a delightful impression from the start. It has a groovy melody and radio-like vocal that sounds like an old-fashioned voice. The visual of driving down an endless road with friends, like the ones in a coming-of-age film pops into my head. In “Over You,” the variety in instrumentation is unique and flowy. It also involves a muffled sound effect rather than a voice, bringing a warm aspect to the music. This song feels like the definition of good vibes, but is more grounded in the idea of dreaming in the past.

While not my favorite from the Vacations, this album is good to relax to. It’s a refreshing release that feels great to listen in the car while taking in the passing view. On a rating out of ten, this would be a solid seven. I really enjoyed listening to this album because of the uniqueness of the instruments and the emphasis on creating a nostalgic sound. The songs make me wistfully think about last summer. Although I’m all about living in the moment, the songs make me feel reassured that it’s okay to think about the past one more time, because as memories fill in, there’s still “No Place Like Home.”


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About the Contributor
Hannah Kim, Copy Editor