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New Track: "Good As New" (Les Professionnels Remix) - Vacationer

Check out the rad new remix from production/DJ crew Les Professionnels of Vacationer's "Good As New"! It appears on the band's latest remix EP that also contains other reworked versions of the track from Geographer, Data Romance, Ghost Beach and more. Enjoy!


Vacationer Kicking Off U.S./Canadian Tour w/Nikki & The Dove at Union Transfer Jan. 10

After reuniting with his pop-punk outfit The Starting Line for a highly successful 10th anniversary tour to commemorate their album Say It Like You Mean It, Kenny Vasoli is back fronting his latest project Vacationer. They continue their string of notable shows tonight at Union Transfer by kicking off a U.S./Canadian tour opening for Kate Bush-esque Swedish sensation Nikki & The Dove. As things freakishly stay warm outside, it should be quite chill this evening inside the old Spaghetti Warehouse. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St., 8pm, $15, All Ages (Photo by NickyDigital.com) - H. M. Kauffman


Vacationer Making You Miss Summer Already at Underground Arts Sept. 28

With reverb-soaked keys and lyrics delivered almost exclusively in wistful sighs, Vacationer is a band that literally wants nothing more than to help you chill out, which should be good for those who still have summer in their minds even though it officially ended last week. The project fronted by Kenny Vasoli travels far from the roots of his previous pop-punk and prog-rock bands The Starting Line and Person L, but he seems to be finding solace on his latest journey. However, it doesn’t mean that he’s completely turned his back on his past. Vasoli will be hitting the road soon with his compadres from The Starting Line for their Say It Like You Mean It 10th anniversary tour. But tonight Vacationer are coming to the Eraserhood, and headlining at Underground Arts with support from up-and-coming pop-rock outfit Cold Fronts, electro-dance duo City Rain, and DJ Les Professionnels. Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St., 9pm, $14, All Ages - H.M. Kauffman


Take a Trip to a Cooler Place w/Vacationer at TLA June 21

Vacationer makes ethos of what their dream-pop contemporaries only imply. Their Tumblr is filled with instagram photos of backyards, smoking grills, and sunsets, while their last.fm directs listeners to “simply settle in, relax and enjoy; Vacation from anywhere at anytime.” Vacationer is a band that literally wants nothing more than to help you chill out, and tonight they’ll be doing just that at the Theatre of Living Arts. With reverb-soaked keys and lyrics delivered almost exclusively in wistful sighs, Vacationer are sonically engineered for de-stressing, and as they support fellow pleasure-poppers Walk The Moon and Find Vienna, the TLA is set to be one of the coolest places in Philly. What better way to make this heat not suck? Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St., 7pm, $12 (+Fees), All Ages - Adam Downer


Album Review: Gone - Vacationer

When Vacationer introduced themselves in the late spring of last year there was an intriguing mystique to the project with nothing but a single song, “Trip,” released with little to no information about the band, its members or possible future releases/details. While not traditional, the air of mystique was quite successful, and arguably very helpful given the person behind the project. When album details began to leak out and some dates were set up, it was released that the brainchild of Vacationer is none other than pop-punk wunderkind Kenny Vasoli, who crooned his way into tween hearts the world over as lead singer and bassist for The Starting Line, and later Person L. Full disclosure: I was willingly one of those tweens, so the return of Vasoli was a welcomed one. However, I was as surprised as the next person with his new incarnation. Also, given the pigeonholing genre that he helped popularize in the early aughts, it makes sense that Vasoli opted to keep his identity, and thus the musical assumptions, at bay until people had enough time to come to their own decisions about Vacationer.

It would be pointless to call this a departure from his previous music as the disparate style attempts nearly everything BUT what he found initial notoriety for. As a frontman from the age of 16, Vasoli spent many of his awkward, growing up years under an emo- colored microscope that would be stifling for anyone. Vacationer is a reflection of the grown-up Vasoli who is dealing with all the things he may have missed growing up on tour. The project attempts to get its listeners to inhabit some utopian state of mind where our days are filled with skinny brunettes washing themselves under a waterfall, endless sunsets and hammocks as beds. This euphoria extends all the way to the blissful music videos and Vacationer “herb” grinders that you can buy in the album bundles. 

From the opening chirps of “Everyone Knows,” Gone is warm, humming with life. The first taste that we got of Vacationer, “Trip,” is a catchy song with limitless playability, but its “chillwave” sound is somewhat out of place within the rest of the albums organic confines. It is one of many musical experiments that Vasoli works through on the album. He has been a bass player since the start, so the low end is notably present in each song, regardless of its surroundings. The lines are often simple but helpful as focal point. Just listen to the atmospheric contrast between “Dreamlike” and “No Rules,” and you hear the only things that remain are Vasoli’s purring bass and composed tenor. 

Love or hate the music that Vasoli has created in the past, one thing that is undeniable is that he has an ear for melody. His songs make impressions on the listener and his ability to write irreplaceable hooks is prolific given his young age. The vocal melodies of many of these songs, if tweaked slightly, could be songs of yesteryear, but with his new surroundings, Vasoli is able to create catchy songs that are “cool enough” to be bloggable. He builds beautiful harmonies throughout the album, but most effectively in the gentle, drifting “Having It All.”  Also, Vasoli sounds notably less whiny these days, which helps. The song “Summer End” is the closest thing to a reimagined Starting Line song, but he throws us off the scent with a small yet effective flute line. Vasoli has always utilized harmony, but again, he has improved and expanded his influences and the result is quite rewarding.

While the whole album is an enjoyable listen, its eleven tracks can feel like three or four too many by the end. It could have worked better if they had dropped a LP and an EP. They did release the Gone EP which was only three songs, including “Trip,” that all ended up on the Gone LP. The album closer “Be With You” is certainly a track that would make the short list. The skittering, gauzy tune acts as the outro to a serene musical vacation. This album is an exciting first step in a new direction for Vasoli who will hopefully continue to evolve. Some pruning could have helped the album, but refinement is something that happens over time, and luckily Vacationer has a lot of that. - Adam G.


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