3hree Things: On Vacationer's New Album, Gone

Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, where Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native.

Summer doesn't officially start for another two months, but with the arrival of Daylight Saving Time, and with a few 80º days and warm, breezy, BBQ-ready nights under our belts, it's starting to feel like it might be here already. And with the arrival of summer weather comes a need for some solid summ-

Wait…what's that?
It's supposed to rain today? And get chilly? And actually not really feel like summer in the slightest?
/checks weather.com
/notices it's supposed to be 59º on Wednesday with 100% chance of rain
/ponders the premise of this week's column
/cries (on the inside)
Suck it, weather gods. I'm trudging on.
So, where was I? Oh yeah. It felt like summer for a few days last week, which got me all excited for summer tunes. Those 7 PM perfectly-comfortable-BBQing-outside-in-a-tee-and-shorts nights had me thinking about packing away all the dark and doom-drenched metal and post-rock I tend to feed my ears in the winter, and finding myself some new summer jams.
I think I've found my first “summer” record of the year in Vacationer's Gone. It's an incredibly infectious blend of (and this is gonna sound like an absolute train wreck but I assure you it isn't) calypso/island-vibe, Motown, hip-hop (in drums & percussion only), doo-wop, mellow indie rock, reverb-drenched folk, “nü-hula” (source: the band), from “the eastern seaboard's foremost relaxation specialists” (source: the band, again).
Ah, music verbiage, what a waste you are. 
Let's cut the crap and get to the listening…


1) “Everyone Knows”
I stumbled across these guys while listening to the Sklar Brothers' Sklarbro Country podcast a couple of weeks ago. I've found that the Sklars and I don't really match up that well as far as musical tastes are concerned, so I tend to find myself skipping through a fair amount of the musical guest segments of the podcast. Vacationer grabbed my ear right away, despite my having an itchy trigger finger on that fast forward button, and now I've got another record to add to my favorites of 2012.

2) “Gone”
I had no idea that this was Kenny Vasoli's (ex-The Starting Line) new project. Thrice has been a part of a few Warped Tours with The Starting Line over the years, and while I came to learn that Kenny was a great songwriter, vocalist and performer in those years, I'd be lying if I said I could have seen this coming. You wouldn't really peg the frontman of a pop punk band to make a record as diverse, ambitious and inspiring as this, but here you have it. 

3) “Be With You”
Bottom line: I really like this record, and I like it a little more every time I listen to it. There's a 75% chance this band will blow up like Local Natives did in 2010, an 85% chance it'll end up on my “Top 10 Records of 2012” list, and a 100% chance that it'll be a mainstay in my summer music playlist.
What's in contention for your summer playlist? Let me know in the comments. 

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