Review: Vacationer’s Ode 2 Summer mixtape

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Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

Vacationer‘s Ode 2 Summer mixtape is just a little treat before their new record Relief comes out on June 24th; and this one takes you beyond the beach (though it sounds like they’ve set up DJ equipment right on the sand for the bulk of the set). We only hear singer Kenny Vasoli’s crisp vocals on the opener “Ode 2 Summer”, “Woke Up”, and closing send-off serenade “Held High”. The rest is strictly experimental with touches of hip-hop and old soul.

Beginning with the steady bass and elegant strings of “Moab,” the mixtape digs into hip-hop inspired percussion on “Vibe” and even sneaks in an excellent old school soul sample by the end. “Lake Wynonoah” is a chill follow-up that bleeds right into “Eyes” which ends with the sound of the ocean and an airplane flying in overhead. Timbaland-inspired jam “Newport” has that knock and pull that gives life to hip-hop production. So maybe this section of the mixtape is all a dream…Vasoli sings of waking up with a “hurt head” on “Woke Up” and it sounds like he’s floating back to consciousness with each lyric.

The stuttering beat of “Hawthorne” builds up right into “San Joaquin which features some great drum work. Off we go to “Toronto”, the tape’s 10th and final urban-influenced instrumental and it’s a sweet mid-tempo groove that ends this impressive section. The tape as a whole ends on a mellow but uplifting note with “Held High” as all the melodic meanderings come full circle back around to that simple Vacationer sound.

Download it for free here.

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