Sunday, October 22, 2006

I can't find a phone booth to spin around, turn into Superman

A few days ago, I mentioned the Vacancy, who I found out about through Popjustice's singles club. I wondered (and worried about) why so many of their songs had disappeared from their MySpace and why their PureVolume site had disappeared. Now, their MySpace has disappeared entirely. That doesn't seem to be a positive sign. I really hope they return to the music scene (and if they do, I'll gladly remove all of these songs; I wouldn't want to hurt their future chances), but, because I'm afraid that the Vacancy may have well and truly vanished, I'm going to write about them today, because these songs are just too good to not be heard. These aren't all of their songs, but just some of the best ones that I've heard; with the exception of "Handheld," the audio quality is subpar, but they're still worth hearing.

The Vacancy would probably grouped in with Busted and McFly, though the fact that Busted and McFly have such different musical styles should give you an indication that the Vacancy don't sound exactly like either of those bands. Though they use guitars, they also have some nice electronic effects going on. I really think the best word to describe their sound is "quirky" (which is a good thing!), but it's a very approachable quirkiness. I would guess that the Vacancy boys (James, who did most of the singing; Joshua, who played keyboard and sang backing vocals; and Zack, who played guitar) didn't have the advantage of full-fledged expensive studio and company backing for these songs, which is something to keep in mind, too.

Handheld--I've seen this song referred to both as "Handheld" and as "Handheld, Digital, Infrared Compatible." I actually think this song may be the reason I found out about the Popjustice website (the chain of events was something like me looking up McFly on the U.S. iTunes, the Popjustice podcast popping up, me listening to it and being intrigued by this song which was used in the opening, and then going to the Popjustice website to find out more). The singer's delivery isn't quite as full of angst/rebellion as Busted's voices were, nor is it completely smooth, falling somewhere in between instead. It's generally catchy and full of energy; it even has a bit in the middle where the music mostly drops out and the singing gets quiet, before it all returns in full force (though full force here isn't knock-you-off-your-feet in strength).

Bad Luck Boomerang--it's a lot easier to describe the Vacancy's general style than their particular songs, even though each of their songs is distinctive. I think the electronics are a little more important here than in the last song, where a guitar (or guitar-like sound) provided the base. I think it's even catchier than "Handheld," and there's something about it that's less harsh than "Handheld" (though that song isn't exactly harsh, either).

She Walks Right Through Me--the Vacancy's songs aren't just quirky in sound, but in subject, too; this one's about being in love with a girl who's a ghost or some other sort of supernatural entity, but it's far happier sounding than you might expect it sound given that description.

The Silence--just like the rest of the Vacancy's songs, this one is catchy. Though it's not quite as cute, it fits in nicely with the rest of them. The chorus of this song isn't quite as quirky as that of the others, but it's often the one I have stuck in my head.

(12/13/06 edit: song links removed because the Vacancy have apparently not disappeared--let the excitement begin!--but just renamed themselves and come back with an incredible song, which you can listen to on their new MySpace).

I don't know of anywhere that you can buy the Vacancy's music (since this is where I would normally provide such a link), and since their MySpace page is gone, I can't even link you to that (on the off chance that it ever comes back, it was here). I really, really hope they aren't gone--I miss them already and, without doubt, would have bought an album of theirs. They were in a genre I love but didn't quite sound like anyone else in that genre.

Awww...Pinkie of PopEatsPop made my day today with his review of this blog. If you haven't already started reading his blog--which will shock you with its revelations about the true history of cover songs you never knew were cover songs--what are you doing? It's a total must-visit, and (even though I don't comment as much as I should) I can't wait for him to get his computer back (hopefully it has his music still on it!).

Next up: maybe a Danish duo, or a Swedish singer (there are several of the latter I'd like to write about at some point). If I don't hear any more news about the Vacancy, the other songs I have of theirs (not that many) will appear here, too, because there's a gorgeous piano-lead ballad, an acoustic (and less quirky, sadly, though it does prove diversity) song, and another catchy song that's sort of in between "Handheld" and "The Silence" that you all should hear.


Paul said...

aw it seems so hard to break thru nowadays. i downloaded handheld when it was in the singles club... i think maybe they have split up/been dropped. We will have to continue to wait for a pop renaissance....

PinkieDust said...

Bring back Scooch! Then all will fall into place. PopPosterGirl(do you have a name btw?) I'm Robbie btw. Thanks for ya comments on popeatspop. I love this place. But...What makes you think I could be a popstar?....have you even heard me sing? Although that hasnt stopped many a pop act has it?

Yours inquisitively


Paul said...

lol :) oh you incessant flirt robbie (which just made me realise i spelt incessant wrong on my blog!) Although i still prefer to call you mr Dust :) After all i have seen your nipples and don't want to get too familiar...

PPG - retain your anonymity :) It adds to your mystique!! hehe

Poster Girl said...

I think, sadly, you're probably right, Paul...the difficulty of breaking through is one of the reasons I so often can't stand to just listen to music on MySpace, but want a more lasting version of the songs that I can keep even if the group vanishes...

Hmmm...I'm sure I meant something when I wrote that, Pinkie/Robbie, but I'm not entirely sure what it was at the moment...maybe it had something to do with the fact that you said reading this site made you feel like you should go put in some hair gel? Something like that? Nope, never heard you sing (it'd be rather creepy if I had :) )!

I feel a bit like a superhero, what with this anonymity :)

(I'm off to look up Scooch now, as I have a feeling I should probably actually know some of their music.)

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Anonymous said...

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