by Daniel Kussy
Success With House Plants is Urban Vacation’s incredible debut LP.
Recorded between 2016 and 2018, and entirely self-produced, Success With House Plants is, at its core, an experimental indie album which harbours a lot of industrial post punk elements. Tracks such as “Running Water” and “Self Portrait” draw comparisons to 70’s Post-punk group This Heat.
From front to back, every track makes use of collected field recordings, which only adds to the organic roughness of the production. Tracks such as “Constant Pneumonia” (the lo-fi song as I’ve dubbed it) have a blaring bass within its upbeat melody that leads to a blown-out chorus.
The sound of humming, buzzing, white noise, or clicking of guitar pedals can be heard in between tracks. Chatter can be heard typically at the opening and closing of a track, either from field recordings, or presumably of the band in the studio. The band uses these otherwise nuisances to their benefit to enhance the emotion of their sound.
Underneath the raw production and the overdubs and the looping field recording are beautiful, vibrant guitars, with peculiar synths and impeccable percussion. Tracks like “Running Errands” and “Newspaper Days” will make you groove in your living room.
Success With House Plants is the perfect record heading into the fall/winter season. There is a strong sense of sombreness and seclusion that writes a soundtrack leading up to a potentially harsh winter, and the daily struggle to leave the apartment on the coldest days.
The opening track, “After the Flood,” echoes of falling leaves with its quiet acoustic guitar and light percussion, while Running Errands recounts a struggle of leaving your home in -30 weather for the sake of *ahem* running errands. Success With House Plants is one of the strongest releases of 2018, and I can’t wait to listen to this record more as it gets colder outside.
For Fans of: This Heat, The Microphones, Van Dyke Parks