Vacationer with Tennis and Eureeka!
9 p.m. Thursday
113 N. Crawford, Norman
Vacationer’s work isn’t so much songs as aural postcards from Mumbai or St. Croix. The relaxing electro is certainly a far cry from the frenetic pop-punk that made mastermind Kenny Vasoli famous with The Starting Line.
“I always just want to make the music that makes me excited,” he said. “I’d been getting deeper and deeper into electronic music since about 2005. I was itching to see what would happen between myself and a collaboration with electronic producers.”
TSL bandmate Matt Watts suggested Matthew Young and Grant Wheeler from New York City dance outfit Body Language, which programmed a good chunk of Passion Pit’s breakout album, Manners. The three made a fast connection, bonded by similar sensibilities.
“That whole chillwave movement thrilled me … that idea that electronic music could be gazey and relaxing,” Vasoli said. “I wanted to have a pure hybrid of live band music and electronic music.”
While the name Vacationer suited the music to a T, it came only after writing a good deal of what would become the debut disc, Gone.
“The urge for travel and to use this as a vessel to take us to exotic places kind of came later in the story, once the vision got realized,” Vasoli said. “We were listening to old Polynesian records and a hell of a lot of Harry Belafonte.”
He’s quite proud of the album, released in March.
“It’s the most focused record I’ve been able to put out yet, and the easiest listen out of all them. It’s got a strong, rolling vibe,” Vasoli said. “I unashamedly listen to this record a lot, and I’m glad that these songs have gotten old and still stayed interesting to me.”
The weeks since South by Southwest have been a whir, with Vacationer living up to the amount of travel its moniker suggests. Things are going swimmingly, and The Starting Line waits on the back burner.
“My focus is admittedly on this at the moment, but my focus is changing from year to year. If we get a good offer to do something, I have no reason to say ‘no,’” he said. “But it’s nice to see this pick up steam. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, so I’ve kind of got to let this go while it can.”