Brooklynites, Vassals came out with an album last month and we regret not listening to it sooner.
Hectic and hesitant, desolate and stark, yet beautiful. Halogen Days is a collection of four songs that flirts with nihilism and bring a little insight into the psyche of the singer. With lyrics like “I know the end is near, we’re gonna burn so bright on a witch’s stake” (from ‘Moonlight’) it’s hard to think otherwise.
Vassals is Shay Spence (vocals and bass), Jeff Fettig (guitar), and Jonathon Smith (drums), formed in 2011.
The first song of the EP, ‘Sea Spells’ starts off with heavy drums, deep bass, muted strums, and hushed vocals. The steady, minimalist rhythmic patterns, in the beginning, give the idea that you’re just going through the motions of life. The artificial pursuits of life and only feeling surface feelings. “Steady your hand, and wait for your cue / Smile on command, dear, they don’t understand you / Like I do.” Then it spins off into a daydream sequence. The feeling when you’re so tired and fall asleep, everything seems alright and you can sleep and dream.
‘Ghostwood’ is a song about relationships. I can sense that it’s about a person in a relationship with anxiety and low self-esteem…..c’mon haven’t we all at some point in our lives. When you’re in those shoes, you worry A LOT. The lines, “All of these turns, / made in your sleep / and all of my words / that don’t do a thing” strike a nerve. It sounds like the dialogue is coming from the other person in the relationship. No matter all the reassurances and words of encouragement like “don’t worry” and “love” are just band-aids for large open gashes. I have yet to find an answer to this problem, but straight whiskey helps a bit.
Stream Halogen Days below: