Vacations know what you’re going through on Changes, a perfect album about growing up

Music is truly a magical force of expression. Why else would you be here reading about it, or paying a monthly subscription fee to hear it, or dealing with those scathing looks from that ironically not emo, emo dude working in the music section of JB-HiFi?

Newcastle band Vacations are no exemption to this. Fresh off their SXSW premiere, we’re lucky enough to congratulate them on their new album – Changes.

vacations changes album review happy mag
Photo: David Fulham

Steeped in exceptional songwriting and a dose of existential millennial dread, Changes feels like a full-circle moment for Vacations.

With a string of releases across the board already, the Newcastle lads have reached their final form (much like a Pokèmon reaching it’s like, last level or whatever) by solidifying band members and really finding their own unique sound.

Listening to the earlier works of Vacations in EPs such as Friends, you’ll be treated to a fantastic roadmap of the band’s evolutionary shift. They’ve merged from hefty new-wave punk into well-rounded, crispy shoegaze goodness.

Straight off the bat you’re welcomed to Changes with Anything Could Happen. With dreamy chords and sexy vocals from frontman Campbell Burns, we’re serenaded with; “anything could happen, I can feel it coming over the horizon, moving closer to me, I’m excited to see…”

As a twenty-something year old millennial myself, this line resonates as an insanely refreshing breath of air. It’s evident that the band has poured their heart and soul into their art, and to see the glimmer of success coming over the horizon is a big high-five in solidarity from me.

It’s impossible to talk about Changes without mentioning Moving Out, a track that’s not only the leading single to the album, but also a simplistic ode to growing up in Australia. Here you are, fresh outta high school, ready to take on the big leagues at university or full-time employment and you finally decide to fly the coop.

But it “wasn’t what I imagined from the start, this house is fallin’ apart”, Campbell putting the words in your mouth like a spoonful of reality-check. Where’s Mum’s stroganoff and dishwasher that we had growing up, or at least the hills hoist in the backyard to swing around on? They’re gone, and instead we’re given a decrepit share house inhabited by Garrett, the guy that hasn’t cleaned a plate since 1991.

As if The Smiths had a charming relationship with Aussie band IV League, Honey is an upbeat yet calming reminder that Vacations are full of delightful surprises. There’s a saxophone that pops out of nowhere and soothes the soul as it hums out the track in blissful disregard for our bodies (that were truly not ready).

The track also seems like it was made for the band – in terms of reminding them that their identities will be constantly shifting as they navigate the discourse of their growth, and that’s not something to be afraid of.

Speaking of navigation, the band have an enormous tour planned this year. After strutting their stuff here in Australia, they’ll be taking Changes across the pond to Europe and the UK, at venues such as Olympic Cafè in Paris and The Waiting Room in London.

A stern salute is necessary for Vacations, a band that have allowed us to keep a close eye on their growth as they reach their authentically refreshing symmetry.


Catch Vacations live on their world tour. Dates below – grab all the details on the band’s Facebook page.