New Music – The Vanities ‘London’

We covered The Vanities album release ‘2001‘ a little while back. It seems we weren’t the only ones impressed by the band and BBC Wales has just selected ‘London‘ for their A List rotation of music alongside the likes of Adele and Ed Sheeran.

London‘ is a love song to a surreal dreamscape city that lives on in a fuzzy state of memory, hope, and starry eyed poetic soul.

There are lines that nod to the self awareness at the heart of the piece, they balance beautifully with the crooning wail of the vocals to bring to mind an image to a time or place lost.

The magic of Camden Town that existed so staggeringly true to the teenager we were and the reality of the theme park ghost town that haunts the streets of London now.

But the track doesn’t languish in anguish and morose mourning. It looks to the neon glow of the city that turns on at dusk, to the shimmering mirage of what once was and holds onto it, willing it back into full bloom again in the not too distant future.

The song leads in with the disco dagger of the skittering synths that lead into the picturesque piano from Gareth Jones and the gorgeous soulful howl of Jack McDougal’s saxophone.

It creates a wistful wall of sonic energy that pours down on the bed of the track like rain on the streets of London’s well walked pavements. The drums served up by Chris Barber play into this pitter patter beat and accentuate it with skillful flourish and finesse.

The backing vocals provided by Jessona and Bambam add a haunting echo that leans into the lament and longing of the songs main refrain.

The track shows of the band’s skill with subtle structure, sublime soundscape, and surrealist scope. The songwriting, production, and heart all sing in equal measure.

Words by Matt Miles.

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