“Pool Rock” In The Atlanta Scene – An Interview With Lunar Vacation

A while back, we sent over a set of interview questions to Lunar Vacation, a local band shaking up the Atlanta music scene. Read on to get educated on the beginning of the group, their music, future plans, and “pool rock?” All you San Diego “surf rock” musicians take notes. 

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Can you give us a lil’ background on your band? How’d you get together, what inspired the name, etc.

Grace: Maggie and I have always been really good friends, we even met through a mutual love of a band! We are in the same guitar class at our school too. One night during the summer, we were in my room at 3AM and decided to write and record our first song, “Mango”. We became close with Connor and Andrew through a mutual friend and started playing together. As for the name, I’ve always had it written down somewhere because I thought the two words sounded nice together.

Maggie: Grace and I got really close through our guitar class in school, and the band just kind of happened over the summer. We got some senior boys (Connor on drums and Andrew on bass) to play with us and finally made our little Soundcloud demos come to life. Grace and I were just talking about it today; it has been so weird how all of this has become real in less than a year. Life is cool. Grace told me the idea of Lunar Vacation as a band name at a Mac DeMarco concert in 2015!

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Who would you say are your biggest musical inspirations?

Grace: Probably Hippo Campus and Twin Peaks, they both started out at a young age but still managed to be successful, and their songs are incredibly poetic and melodic. But, for our writing style, it’s originally influenced by Slow Hollows. I remember seeing a video of them at a pool doing some kind of session, they were all super young and the lyrics to the song were super simple and sweet. That’s when I realized you can just write about anything: what you see, how you feel, basically anything and it can turn into a bomb ass song. Also, just seeing how young bands progress is really inspiring, it gives us hope.

Maggie: It’s also cool how much old bands, like the Allman Brothers or Velvet Underground, seep into our musical process. Grace and I can sit for hours and dissect old songs like it’s nobody’s business. Individually, each of us come from really different musical backgrounds. Connor is a trained jazz drummer, Grace and I are classically trained guitarists, and Andrew knows everything about funk and soul bass grooves. Its really fun bringing all of these different elements into our songs and giving them a “lunar” sound.

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How would you describe your sound and how does the Atlanta scene influence that? Is there even a well established music scene?

Grace: We use the term “pool rock”. Since there’s not really any beaches near us, we aren’t be categorized as “surf rock”, but Atlanta has a bunch of pools around. A bunch. The Atlanta music scene is so unique, every artist has a very distinct writing/sound. It’s actually so amazing, there are people who are around your age writing about all of these experiences; they’re all completely idiosyncratic and supportive. Everyone wants to help each other out. Like Ian Buford of The Pellys literally started our music career, we met him at a Frights concert then the next day he was trying to book us shows!

Maggie: Everyone in the Atlanta scene is so creative and supportive and they have really propelled us to keep moving forward. We are so lucky to be surrounded by such cool people.

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What song that you’ve written so far are you most emotionally attached to?

Grace: Well one time we played a house show and invited a bunch of kids from our school. Being a private school, most people were JUST interested in a party at a mansion. So basically, there were 100 or so people there and only 7 of them actually watched us. But with that experience, we wrote a song entitled “Swimming” and basically it was a reflection on the night as a whole. It touches on subjects of unrequited love, uncertainty, and confusion (everything a high schooler goes through, right?!) but then the chorus is kind of like a “Remember who you are!” kind of moment. So yeah, basically that’s the only song of ours that’s shown so much vulnerability so it’s super super special.

Maggie: “Swimming” makes me happy in a sad kind of way. Grace wrote the lyrics and stuff, but they resonate with me. It’s such a classic teeny bopper song! But that’s why it’s so great! Sometimes the cliche stuff is the best.

What is your strangest experience at a show?

Grace: Maggie and I played an “acoustic” set at a house show with some of our friends and right in the middle of it, a cop came down and told everyone that they were illegally parked and we had to end our set early. Also, 2 phones and a vape pen were lost that night. A very strange but very fun night.

Maggie: That one is hard to beat. We were the only mellow act so we calmed down all of the wild kiddos, all stuffed in one tiny basement. It was a bit mesmerizing. Good times.

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How do you get inspired?

Grace: My motto is, “shit on me and I’ll probably write a song about it”. Or its just random words describing an experience or event. Or sometimes it’s telling a story from different perspectives.

Maggie: Good stuff comes when I’m driving or showering or talking to Grace about just normal stuff. Just observing other people teaches me a lot about perspective and stuff, so also that.

What’s next for you guys!

Grace: WELL, we hopefully will be recording (for real) our EP in the summer when we are off school (thank God) either with Cottage Recordings or our friend Chris Senador from Antarcticats. Right now we’re just floatin’ around taking whatever comes but also striving for greatness!! Woo!

Maggie: We have a fashion line, audiobook, four biopics, and a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden. I also heard Pitchfork named our single “Best New Music”, but yeah, whatever.

 


And with that I end our interview with Atlanta group, Lunar Vacation. I’d like to thank the girls for giving us some insight into their music and just the whole music community out there! Chances are, wherever in the world you find yourself reading this, there’s an amazing music scene right outside your door. Go out and find it, get involved, maybe even create your own genre!

Super excited to see what this group cooks up next.

Make sure to check out their Soundcloud, linked here.

Article by Kyla Wyllie

Photography by Violet Teegardin

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