Review: Vacation by Outerhope

Vacation by OuterhopeNot that I’m expecting a completely carefree album from Outerhope, but this one is called Vacation, and the tracklist suggests places to go to and adventures to be had. Instead we get a really intense rumination on beginnings and endings, on that’s all drenched, Cocteau Twins-like, with hazy uncertainty. And it’s beautiful, even if all throughout you feel that inevitable sort of pain, the hesitation in pushing through knowing this is the last few moments you’ll ever have, the acknowledgment that you have to make the most of these moments. As the album progresses the themes move, from more modern takes on shoegaze and psychedelic, to somewhere by the final third, a bit of 80s groove, a final nod of nostalgia – this is where we were, this is where we are, this is where we’re headed. I’m afraid I cannot really give justice to this record in words. Outerhope smartly steps back when the inevitable begins to creep in – plug your own meanings here, but let’s do this, one last time – and by the album closer “Boarding Area”, a short burst reminiscent of found sound and buzz, I feel pretty overwhelmed. This isn’t escapism, but an outright confrontation. And what a beautiful job they have done. [NB]5/5

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