Boston's Vundabar are sharing their new single "Oulala" via SPIN, a summer anthem without a very summertime point of view. "Oulala" comes from the band's upcoming sophomore album, Gawk, due out July 24th via the band's own Gawk Records. SPIN said the single, "treads in pop territory, but it also traffics in the band’s signature brand of dynamic shifts. Though it kicks off with clattering drums and punchy guitar, the track’s four-and-a-half minutes are also packed with sing-song hooks, knotty instrumental lines, and a hazy coda that recalls a revved-up Real Estate track".
When asked about “Oulala,” Vundabar’s Brandon Hagen said the song was about “malaise, detachment and depression brought on by modern life” which is reflected in the lyrics, "Definition blurs when you’re staring through the smoke / Nothing really hurts when everything’s a joke.” Expanding on the song, Hagen said, "The narrator has to find the humor in life, because it’s too absurd to be taken completely seriously. This protects him but at the same time makes him detached from his own emotions and other people. Modern life is a barrage of stimulation. One can become inundated with so much information they can hardly take anything in. "Smart enough to make it, dumb enough to use it’” he sings. The paradox of human "progress". We’re smart enough to make these advancements in modern technology, but dumb enough to use them, as they’re ultimately self-destructive. Every step forward is a setback.”
In the bleak sonic landscape that has become associated with the Boston underground, Vundabar are an anomaly. Rather than wallow in minor chord fury and noise soaked post-punk, the young Boston trio have opted for something brighter and catchier, using their penchant for complex melodies and soaring harmonies to create an all shimmering beast of bizarre pop splendor. Gawk is oozing with shifting noise pop structures, touches of twisted surf rock, math pop, and indie-centric dance punk, Vundabar's sound is expansive, shuffling with their feet on the ground while their heads floating above the clouds. Brandon Hagen's dynamic croon bounces between a casual vibrato and soulful falsetto as the band's interlocked melodies create the perfect accompaniment. It's pop bliss for the summer sun, a glowing soundtrack to the year's most celebrated months.
STREAM VUNDABAR'S "OULALA" VIA SPIN:
Vundabar, the seriously infectious Boston jangle pop trio have built a strong reputation throughout Boston as one of the city's best up-and-coming bands, constantly touring and playing shows, and while they are fairly young (members are all between 20 and 21), their sound is reminiscent of a veteran band. Gawk is the type of album that bubbles with soulful sun-drenched bliss, off kilter indie rock melodies, gorgeous harmonies and an endless supply of enormous hooks. East coast indie rock with a West coast soul... one listen and you're hooked. The band are currently on a US tour, check out all the dates below.
Stereogum recently premiered "Chop," noting the band's unique take on the Boston underground's sound and their ability for crafting pure pop out of complexity and intricate song structures:
"Enter Vundabar, an excellent example of the way in which all of the melodic intricacies picked up and defined as the “Boston sound” can easily be repurposed and reordered into pop songs with broader appeal. “Chop” has all of the same yanking arrangements and spitfire drum beats as some of Vundabar’s peers, but their vocal performance and lyrical prose sound untethered to the favored aesthetic of their immediate surroundings"
06/09 - Omaha, NB @ Lucy’s Pub
06/10 - Madison, WI @ Shone Den
06/11 - Chicago, IL @ Hobo Spaceship
06/12 - Ann Arbor, MI
06/13 - Toledo, OH
06/14 - Columbus, OH @ The Pink Mistress
06/19 - Boston, MA @ The Womb w/ Lady Bones, Snoozer & Sneeze
07/17 - Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East w/ Pile, Creaturos & more
07/23 - New Brunswick, NJ @ The Court Tavern