Five Right Now: Lunar Vacation

Atlanta’s Lunar Vacation release their debut record, Inside Every Fig Is A Dead Wasp, on 29th October on Keeled Scales. Artists on Keeled Scales roster usually boast something uniquely special and this high-school formed four-piece are no exception. Although on a cursory listen they could be filed under indie-pop, there is much more going on here beneath the surface. There are psych infused breakouts, slow soul flecked musings and when many of their contemporaries are mining their grunge influences Lunar Vacation are moving in the opposite direction, slamming massive pop licks, and laying down grooves reminiscent of the finer corners of No Doubt’s output. All of this within an insanely tight package that will ensure them one of the best received new indie debuts of the year.

Here we glean an insight to the tracks that the group have had spinning round their heads of late. These are their Five Right Now picks:

Maggie Geeslin: h hunt – Pêche II

My year has been characterized by sitting in my room, working on school papers, or sitting alone in the park writing down aimless musings. These habits have led me to turn to jazz piano albums for company; I started with Bill Evans and solo Duke Ellington, and then I came across h hunt. I listened to Pêche II and was instantly drawn in; it feels like a lullaby for the daytime. h hunt only has one album out, which his label, tasty morsels, gives out for free. The label also has zero pictures of any of their artists on their website. The vagueness of it all was enticing, so naturally I did some digging to find out more about this album; from what I can remember, his father did not know he could play jazz piano, so he recorded this album as a Christmas present for him (you can hear a little bit of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas for a moment). It was recorded in Paris in one week…dreamy. That one-take feeling comes across when listening—this album is like a sweet friend to accompany the slow and lonesome days. This is surely my most played record this year and I want to share it with everyone to spread the peace. 

Grace Repasky: Happyness – Weird Little Birthday Girl

Listening to this song immediately makes me feel some kind of intense emotion that I still can’t put my finger on, two years after the first listen. The first few moments of the bass will always take me back to a near-empty house in Nashville, late July 2019, at around 4:45 am. Or maybe, it was 5 am? We had just finished up a North American tour with our friends The Slaps. After playing, we all crashed at a friend’s house although they were moving out in a few days, so it was just a few couches, one bed and lots of floor space. We spent the whole night talking, playing basketball, sharing some champagne, and making a late night trip to Taco Bell. When everyone was winding down and going to sleep, I forced Maggie and Rand to stay up, pull an all-nighter and, with great success, we did. We met a strange cat outside in the middle of the night, ran down the street, danced, and talked about life. At around 5 am, we woke a Slap up to take him to the airport and while he was making coffee, Rand put on Weird Little Birthday Girl. From the second I heard it, I knew it was special – maybe it was the sleep deprivation or overall exhaustion from the last few weeks, but it made me feel like I was floating in a purple field. Anyway, I think it’ll always remind me of a warm, dream-like time filled with love. The kind of love you only find a few times in your life. It was a staple listen during the pandemic and has earned a permanent spot in my Top 3. I don’t know them personally, but I think Happyness is one of the most unique and powerful bands to ever exist and all of their music makes me want to cry. All the time. 

Matteo DeLurgio: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Fishing for Fishies 

This song is a favourite of mine. It has a vibrant, satisfying feeling to it, and it conjures the feeling of paddling down a river. It’s one of those songs where the lyrical content and the instrumental content work together in a way that feels very intentional. The double drum kits, which is a feature of many King Gizzard songs, is always something I get excited about and this band does it so tastefully. King Gizzard makes me think of hanging out with my friends, many of whom are more dedicated fans of the band than I am, and who have continually reintroduced me to their work over the years (for which I am most grateful).

Earlier this year, my dad was going through a fishing phase, and I got up very early one Saturday morning to go fish with him up in North Georgia. I played the song in the car during the drive up, and in that moment it felt like the perfect summary of how I felt: ‘Fishing for fishies, don’t make them feel happy, or me neither…’ Of course, I was happy to go on a trip with my dad, but I was still a bit grumpy from the early rise, and I started to question the whole notion of fishing for recreation. That moment stuck with me, solidifying the song as one of my favourites.

Connor Dowd : Beach Goons – Choker

Most of my days this year have been spent at a shop that constantly plays 80s radio, and from Phil Collins to George Michael this place really has it all (And nothing in between). Needless to say it’s awesome, but I usually listen to discover weekly or my own playlists on car rides to hear something new. Even so, I was starting to lose steam halfway through the year and needed out of the routine. The first time I heard Beach Goons was at Aisle 5 in Atlanta, just a few weeks ago. It was one of the first shows I had gone to since early last year, and I was really curious more than anything as my friend had invited me last minute. I always feel connected to music with a lot of energy, or anything that makes me wanna move. When they played Choker early on in the set everyone was going nuts, on and offstage. That moment reminded me of the energy of all the fun shows that I look forward to, but it also took me back to my first time ever jamming with my friends as kids, after we watched the huge crowd from the Green Day UK tour on TV. The song is short and sweet and with a great mix of power guitar and driving drums, you can’t go wrong. It’s also awesome how the vocals sync up with the guitar melody, it just adds that energy with each layer that comes in. 

Whole Band: Binki – Heybb!

This has been the soundtrack to every party we’ve had for two years… listen and it will explain itself!

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