Featured Artist: Vandalia

Hey there Procrastinators! We’ve got another featured artist here for you, who we think you should check out called Vandalia. Vandalia comes to us from Cincinatti, Ohio, and they took the time to put together a playlist of some of their biggest influences. Here’s a little bit about what they had to say about the playlist.

Slow Bullet – ‘Day Drunk at the Airport Bar’
This song made my list because it’s one of my favorite examples of telling a story in a song, but in a ‘pick up the pieces as you go along. The title starts you off and sets the scene, as the song builds in speed and dynamics, the details of why this person is drunk in an airport start to come together, implying that he kidnapped some girl, possibly killed her and now he’s trying to flee. Slow Bullet also made this list because they’re one of my favorite new artists to me, their debut album is probably one of my top 10 albums of all time.
Remo Drive – ‘Hunting for Sport’
Remo Drive was the first ‘emo’ band I really listened to and got me into the genre I sometimes find myself associated with, even if I’m not explicitly trying to write ‘emo’. This song made my list because the explosive emotion and melody of the chorus really elicits a physical reaction out of me. While the lyrics are something to speculate about for me, I really admire the structure and pace of this song. Remo Drive is also significant to me in that I use their weird guitar tuning in my songs (DGDGBe).
Graduating Life – ‘God Killer’
‘God Killer’ was the first Grad Life song to make me feel something, and they continued to do so the more I listened. This song is a good example of what I admire about Bart Starr’s songwriting and lyrics; his raw emotion and raw energy, while still having as much fun as he can and not caring about making it big. The whole album this comes from (An Introduction to Rock and Roll) is chock full of themes surrounding life and death, which are themes I often think but don’t speak about, I just listen to Grad Life when I wanna deal with that. The acoustic and echo-y opening of the song is also one of my favorite ways to start a song as you can only get harder from that point on and is a nice release of energy when the drop hits.
Minor Threat – ‘In My Eyes’
This song was the first punk song I really got into, way before I started writing and playing my own music. Something that I connected with my bandmates early on was hardcore and early punk, so we made our true first (and eventually deleted) EP very much like an ‘80s punk rock album. I remember getting into this song after a local band I saw at a house in my
town played it as their set opener, and fell in love with the energy since then.
Nirvana – ‘Sappy’
While also being one of my favorite Nirvana songs, ‘Sappy’ was one of Kurt’s songs that inspired me to start writing and playing. The lyrics tell a simple story about ‘a romantic entrapment’ (- Michael Azerrad) and are highly catchy, which drove me to try and write something as catchy. I’m also in love with the raw power of Kurt’s vocals on this, which is something I would always try to replicate with my own songs.

Lightning Love – ‘Friends’
This is the oldest known of my songs on my list, and one of my favorites. While standing out from the others in terms of sound, the lyrics are very personal and revealing. They strike me as immensely sad and the melody of the chorus only emphasizes this. The topic of friendship and lack thereof is a common theme in my songs current and scrapped. The lead singer has a very nice deadpan style of singing which leaves interpretation of the emotions of the lyrics up to the listener, at least to me it does.

To find out more about Vandalia, and what they have going on, click here.

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