Vacationer's sophomore full-length album, 2014's Relief, features more of the group's sample-based psychedelic pop. The album also follows up the group's similarly inclined debut, 2012's Gone. Still centered around singer/songwriter Kenny Vasoli, Vacationer make sweeping '50s-, '60s-, and '70s-inspired music that utilizes a bevy of vintage brass, string, and percussion samples replete with fuzzy vinyl LP textures. Vasoli then shapes and reworks these samples into his own song forms, adding vocals, bass, drums, and sundry instrumentation. This isn't to say that Vacationer's music sounds like it was made in the '60s. It's more that it leaves the impression of having sprung out of the soundtrack to an old Hollywood musical like South Pacific. Vasoli clearly has a love of the bouncy, yearning '80s synth pop and the jangly guitar-based sound of bands like Tears for Fears and Tom Tom Club. Similarly, cuts like the buoyantly romantic "Shining" and the percussive "The Wild Life" bring to mind the melodic, Afro-pop-influenced sound of Graceland-era Paul Simon. Elsewhere, Vasoli dives into sunny '60s soul ("Paradise Waiting"), languid AM radio-style soft rock ("Parallels"), and epic, '60s exotica-inflected pop ("Onward & Upward"). Ultimately, whether it's laying out on a towel in your backyard or digging your toes into the sand on a tropical island beach, Vacationer have made the perfect soundtrack for your summer getaway with Relief.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar