VAGARY – definition: An unpredictable development or change of circumstances.
That would seem just about right for the Amsterdam band, who after attracting a degree of attention, success and prime support slots with the likes of Pete Doherty and Kurt Vile, drifted into a prolonged hibernation.
Now, almost five years later, The Vagary are back with their second album due for a summer release and the lead single, ‘Outta Sight, Outta Mind,’ available now.
There had been no plans made for the band to get back together any time soon, but as guitar player Julien explains:
“When our friends of St. Tropez asked us to record in their studio, we hadn’t played in a while, and to be honest, we didn’t see it happen any time soon. We were all working on different projects. Luckily, Thijs (vocals, guitar), had some ideas laying around. When we were working these out and rehearsing them for the recording session, we realized how much we had missed playing together. Just the four of us; grabbing our instruments and just play. With Outta Sight, Outta Mind, and the other new material, we want to express that feeling of being a tightknit band, playing their heart out.”
The single, and presumably therefore also the album, exhibits a bit of change in direction for the band. Their earlier work was very much synthesizer lead, whereas the new material seems to be more organic, with the focus simply on guitar, bass and drums.
‘Outta Sight, Outta Mind,’ also reflects the more soulful sounds they were listening to when the decision was taken to get back into the recording studio. It’s like a blues infused Average White Band tune to me, though I have to say the chorus reminds me very much of Gallagher & Lyle’s ‘Heart On My Sleeve.‘
Sorry, I hate to make comparisons, but we all do it. Though that’s two pretty decent acts to be measured with. (And both were Scottish!)
With all the music that’s sent here to LOUD HORIZON HQ, there generally has to be something unique about a track that’s going to attract my attention and prompt me to write a few words about it.
But in this case, it was a familiarity that drew me to this song, the lead single from the forthcoming new album from Los Angeles based band, the black watch.
Vocals aside, the backing reminds me so much of a track released by one of my lads’ bands back in 2011.
I loved the sound then – and I love it all over again with this single, ‘Mad.‘
Prior to reading the PR blurb, I always listen to a band’s music so my opinion is not influenced in any way. On this occasion, the words ‘joyous,’ ‘jangling guitars,’ and ‘reverb’ sprang to mind.
Then lo! Two of these words are indeed mentioned in the PR material. I doubt I’ll many arguments over their use.
As the review blogger, I feel it’s incumbent upon me to make some sort of lame and lazy comparison to other bands. I could just copy those mentioned in the PR, but I disagree. Taken in isolation at least, I’d suggest ‘Mad‘ could easily be the bastard creation of an illicit relationship between Teenage Fanclub and Real Estate.
I’m sure you’ll tell me if I’m wrong.
‘Magic Johnson‘ from which this track is lifted, is the band’s seventeenth album release and due for an 8th August release here in the UK. The taster, ‘Mad’ however, is available from 21st June.
Makes you wanna go check out that extensive back catalogue while you’re waiting, right?
(Oh yeah. My son’s band? Silver Caves. Still on Bandcamp somewhere. Track #4)
I’m writing this as a part of the healing process. It’s kind of cathartic, you know? See, I ‘discovered’ The Nude Party when reading the bill for a Freakender event here in Glasgow.The gig was scheduled to be held at my favourite record store & cafe / bar, Monorail / Monoso all the stars were aligned for an amazing night.
Except … Chief stargazer and brainiest bloke in the universe is quoted as saying: ” We’re both clever and stupid in equal measure.” In this respect, his research s flawed, because he obviously didn’t include little ol’ me in the equation. I’m evidently more tilted towards the ‘stupid’ side. You see, I forgot to write down the date of The Nude Party gig in Glasgow.
The show was two weeks ago.
Old age doesn’t come alone, as the saying goes.
Oh well, since I didn’t get to chat with the band, I’m just going to have to take the ‘lazy’ option here which I hate doing, and reproduce their band info from their Facebook page.
(Next time guys. Look out for the wee dumb looking short-ass with the daft haircut. Come say hello. You may have to shout.)
(Copied from Facebook – 6th June 2019):
Despite rock’n’roll’s rapidly waning role in mainstream culture, thousands upon thousands of rock groups currently occupy our nightclubs, bandwidth, and brainspace with their performance, recording, and Bandcamping. And while the ubiquity of these projects crowd 2018’s musical landscape, from Highland Park to Bushwick and all points in between, the authentic rock’n’roll band is an endangered species. While any musician with wifi can actualize a rock group in a matter of minutes, a band, in the words of one of our great contemporary philosophers Ian Svenonius, is “about an ideology, a way of life, an aesthetic.”
The Nude Party is one of the last of these aggregations – an inseparable gang of blood brothers bonded by a musical mission indistinguishable from their friendship. The band’s psychic and effortless musical communication comes from learning how to play their instruments together since their teens, rooming together in house after house for six years, and developing their sound and aesthetic through literal nude partying together.
The members came together in the freshman dormitories of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina in 2012. Patton Magee (lead vocals, guitar), and later Austin Brose (percussion, vocals), linked up with childhood friends Connor Mikita (drums) and Alec Castillo (bass guitar, vocals), and stepbrothers Shaun Couture (lead guitar, vocals) and Don Merrill (organ/piano, vocals). The following summer, with the shimmer of The Kinks, Velvet Underground, and other still-unsurpassed classic rock masterpieces as their soundtrack, the young men moved into a lake house outside of town, began acquiring and learning to play instruments, and jamming on rudimentary riffs. Friends came by the lake house to swim and canoe and party and soon ritual nudity was a part of the festivities.
When the fall semester came around the friends moved into a house in Boone and the jamming continued in the basement on a nightly basis. During this time the Dionysian Adamite sextet began developing a following as the house band at a notorious Boone party palace referred to as the 505 House. The bare honesty of their performances was contagious and their audience also started partying au naturel. While these traditions may appear risqué to the casual observer, the band explains, “These weren’t orgies, they weren’t sexual even. It was just kind of a wild exhibitionism that we felt gave us freedom.”
As the informal aggregation of musicians became a defined unit, and were offered gigs outside of the 505 House, they had now become a proper band and thus needed a name. Best known around the campus as “the naked party band,” they chose to call their group simply “The Nude Party.” Ironically, since playing in their birthday suits was illegal in the bars and clubs of this next step of their career, The Nude Party began playing clothed as soon as they were christened.
By 2014, living in a bigger more isolated house, known as “The Nude Ranch” by townies, the band met Black Lips’ Oakley Munson at a Night Beats show in Charlotte and before long the drummer became their mentor. He recorded the band’s “Hot Tub” EP and the band began honing their craft as incessant road warriors in the national market.
2018 and the band were living with Munson in the Catskills. Their prolific performance schedule has built a substantial following in Brooklyn and beyond and they’ve just completed their first proper LP – the culmination of six years of experimentation and refinement of material.
I can’t believe it’s been nine years since LOUD HORIZON first featured Medway band, Theatre Royal. At that point, I think they had only produced a couple of rough demos. But even at very embryonic stage, it was very obvious that here was a quality band in the making.
A few months later, October 2010, and I wrote about the band in the New Blood section of Artrocker magazine.
Many, probably most, of the bands featured in both LOUD HORIZON and Artrocker from that time, are no longer together. And yet here we are, not only are Theatre Royal still producing such wonderful, hook laden and well-crafted songs, but they are receiving national airplay on BBC Radio 6 Music. most recently on Steve Lamaq and Gideon Coe’s shows. John Kennedy on RadioX is also a confirmed supporter of the band.
The latest release is this twenty-two track compilation CD of ‘singles’ or simply tracks released that might attract the attention of radio play-listers. Many did just that, with stations in not only UK but also the likes of New York picking up on some.
“ In what may be deemed an act of mild self-indulgence we thought it was time for us to release a compilation of all our singles (double-A-sides included) before they are too great in number to fit on one CD,” says main vocalist, Oliver Burgess.
With their obvious longevity and propensity for knocking out some killer tunes, you wouldn’t bank against the production of a ‘Volume 2’ in the coming years.
I for one, would be up for that.
(The compilation is available now on CD and download via Bandcamp in addition to Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music.)