Based out of Atlanta, Georgia, the story of Lunar Vacation can be traced back to eighth grade, when Grace Repasky and Maggie Geeslin met and started sharing musical ideas. As soon as the pair became old enough to drive, they started to take Lunar Vacation on the road, playing venues across the sprawling suburbs of their home city and fulfilling so many teenage dreams along the way. As the buzz around the pair grew, so did the band, as they expanded to their current four-piece line-up, and upon finishing school, they started to self-release their music, in the shape of two EPs, Swell and Artificial Flavors. Those records saw them take their sound out across the US, touring with the likes of Remo Drive and Sidney Fish, and along the way, they caught the ear of Keeled Scales, who last week released the bands hotly anticipated debut album, Inside Every Fig Is A Dead Wasp.
Recorded with producer Danie Gleason, of the band Grouplove, Inside Every Fig Is A Dead Wasp is a record as intriguing as its title suggests, as it navigates the waters of dreamy-indie, psychedelia and bedroom-pop. Lyrically, the record is a joyous celebration of self, it navigates the murky waters of growing up and growing into yourself, yet ultimately cherishes the youthful exuberance and friendship that they’ve experienced along the way. Take a song like the gorgeous Peddler, to a backing of fizzing guitars and warm layered vocals, with a definite nod to early Best Coast, the band navigate a raft of emotions, ultimately concluding, “together is something that we get to, I want to be with you”. In Lunar Vacations hands, even something as traditionally sad as a doomed relationship, can sound oddly positive, as showcased on Where Is Everyone? A sultry, bass and synth-led number about the joys of going into a relationship with someone completely different to you, celebrating how much you can learn along the way to its inevitable end, “two well-headed loves, made from opposite dreams, an unlikely pair seemed so fitting to me”. Some of the record’s most enticing moments are also its most experimental, from the banjo-meets-Bossa Nova pulse of Making Lunch (Not Right Now) to the slick Tame Impala-like synth-strut of Mold. As the record closes on the serene But Maybe, think Alvvays-gone-country and you won’t be far off how good this track sounds, it feels like Lunar Vacation have lived up to their name, taking you to the moon and back again and leaving you wondering just where they might take us next.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Lunar Vacation?
Maggie: Lunar Vacation is a collection of individuals: Grace Repasky, Maggie Geeslin, Matteo De Lurgio, and Connor Dowd (joined by Ben Wulkan in a live setting). We like to giggle and create sounds that are sweet and intriguing and exciting.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Maggie: Our first show was in August of 2016; it was a fundraising event that took place on a high school football field in a north Atlanta suburb. None of us went to school there—it was just the first chance we got to play a show and we took it. I remember we nervously paced around on the track before we played and our setlist was four songs, maybe five. We all were buzzin’ with pure excitement.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Maggie: Woah…this is a heavy question. Well, we all love each other as human beings and making music together sends you onto another plane, a plane where no one really needs to explain anything. It allows different people to become one, even if just for a moment. We get to exist in the same abstract space with each other, and that is truly a blessing. Each Lunar member works with other artistic mediums, but we are all definitely bonded together in the magical river of making music.
FTR: What can people expect from the Lunar Vacation live show?
Maggie: A wholeeeee lotta dancing. Even the sad songs have some groove. Lunar Vacation started out as a live band; we pretty much made our first EPs so we could have new material for shows. The new album was the first time we all sat down and wholly collaborated on a body of work together that could exist outside of a live setting. But, we still had live audiences in mind when crafting songs. For example, we made “Cutting Corners” because we knew our fans needed a good moshing song. So, I guess people can expect a good time, even if they shed a few tears. I hope our shows are a source of catharsis for folks.
FTR: What’s next for Lunar Vacation?
Maggie: Shows shows shows, baby! We have been slowly working on some new songs, but are focused on playing the album for as many people as possible before we get back in the studio. We don’t really know what to expect for the future but we are excited and down for the journey.
They Listen To…
Miles Davis – Flamenco Sketches
Tim Hill – Payador
Elizabeth Cotton – Honey Baby Your Papa Cares For You
Funkadelic – Biological Speculation
The Chicks – Wide Open Spaces