Boston has been churning out a slew of exciting indie rock bands in recent years. While many of these acts hang on angular minor chords, Vundabar stands out from the DIY crowd thanks to a jangly lean on pop sounds. Case in point: their catchy-as-hell sophomore album, Gawk, due July 24th on their own Gawk Records. Ahead of the street release, the LP is streaming in full below.
After a year of hard, international touring behind their self-released Antics debut, Vundabar came home to some rough times. The trio had no choice but to lean on each other for support, channeling the frustrations of their life into an album tackling “alienation, identity, perception, detachment and a quiet bitterness,” all with a sardonic lyrical wit courtesy of frontman Brandon Hagen.
The band recorded in Medford, Massachusetts’ Mystic Valley Analog Recording Studio, providing the album a level of polish the GarageBand-made Antics only dreamed of. Yet the sound is still distinctly Vundabar, assuredly dipping into dark territories with a sense of lightness wrapped in complicated, playful musicality. “We’re not really as heavy as some of the bands from the area, but we still love a lot of the bands,” Hagen told Confront Magazine. “I feel like it’s impossible for environment not to bleed into what someone is making, so maybe our style is a bit reactionary to the predominating style in the area.”
Speaking of this particular record’s influences, he added, “Over the last year I’d gotten really into writers like Joseph Heller, Albert Camus and Vonnegut. They use humor to show the absurdity of serious topics, and that’s something I’ve always responded to. Satire is able to be sardonic and earnest at the same time and I like approaching writing that way, walking the line of that contradiction.”
Take a listen to Gawk below, and pre-order it here.