By John Ostapowicz
Over 10,000 miles away from Youngstown, the Australian indie rock-pop band Vacations is preparing to release its third studio album Jan. 12 titled, ‘No Place Like Home.’
The 10 song LP is the band’s first with Canadian record label Nettwerk Music Group as the four person band adds to its discography of “woozy guitar pop.”
Vacations was formed in 2015 by singer-songwriter and frontman Campbell Burns in Newcastle, New South Wales. With the addition of Jake Johnson, Nate Delizzotti and Joseph Van Lier, the band found mainstream success with the release of its EP “Vibes” in 2016.
Two of the band’s songs are certified Gold in Canada, Australia and Poland. The track “Young,” was certified Platinum in the U.S. Globally, Vacations has racked up over 1 billion streams across all music platforms.
“No Place Like Home,” produced by Burns and John Velasquez, combines the band’s signature indie sound with Americana influences. The inclusion of a synthesizer, acoustic guitar, piano and lap steel guitar add a twist to the indie-pop genre.
Four singles were a part of a waterfall release leading up to the album. The opening track “Next Exit” has accumulated over 9 million streams across streaming platforms. The song has also received airplay on SiriusXMU, where it sat at No. 1 for two consecutive weeks.
“No Place Like Home” will feature previously released tracks “Terms & Conditions,” “Midwest” and “Close Quarters.” Each track on the album has its own genre, with “Close Quarters” dabbling in surf rock and the self-titled track centered around a groovy bassline.
Burn’s move to Los Angeles prompted him to write about his departure from Australia to the U.S. as a bittersweet goodbye.
“You could interpret ‘No Place Like Home’ as a breakup song about needing to find where you actually belong,” Burns said.
The album will also include six unreleased tracks, with “Over You” getting a music video on the band’s YouTube channel to coincide with the album’s release. The track dives into ‘80s new wave with bright guitar tones and pays homage to synth-pop.
“No Place Like Home,” continues to show off Vacations’ skill set, with an instrumental track titled “Arizona” and a fade out intro on the closing track “Lost In Translation.”
Although Vacations didn’t release a new album for three years, the band stayed busy as it traveled to the U.S. in October 2022 to play a sold-out show at The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles.
Vacations rounded out 2023 in North America at The Novo in Los Angeles on Nov. 12, hit the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City on Nov. 15 and returned home to Australia to begin a busy 2024.
In February, Vacations will perform at the St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival with stops in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. The band will play alongside notable artists such as Steve Lacy, Dominic Fike and d4vd.
Q&A with lead singer Campbell Burns
The Jambar: What was the reasoning behind the name Vacations?
Burns: Jake and I used to play a game where we would shoot band names back and forth at each other. When we had our first show booked, we still didn’t have a name, so when we were asked we tried again and settled with Vacations, the name stuck. I’m genuinely surprised no one else claimed it first.
The Jambar: If you had to pick a favorite track off of “No Place Like Home,” what would it be?
Burns: At this moment in time, I’d pick the closing track “Lost in Translation.” For me, it barely feels like a song, it goes against conventions and that’s what makes it interesting for me. I wrote it as a letter to my younger self, knowing what I know now.
The Jambar: It feels as if the band is always one step ahead. Is there any new material in the works after the release of “No Place Like Home?”
Burns: I love that! We’ve already started writing ideas for the next project. When I was initially writing for “No Place Like Home,” I had two very different directions. I’m exploring ideas and concepts at the moment. I think the initial stages can be the most exciting because you have no idea where you’ll go.
The Jambar: With summer around the corner and a new album to promote, is there another U.S. tour in the works or plans to hit venues in Australia or Europe?
Burns: All of the above, we’ll be going worldwide! But this time, responsibly. Our tour routing last year was frantic but I’m glad we put in the work, it’s all led to this moment.