Lunar Vacation "Swell" - The Velvet Underground "The Velvet Underground and Nico&quot

Lunar Vacation: “Swell”

Local St. Pius student band Lunar Vacation recently released their debut EP “Swell”. Switching between uplifting songs such as “Blue Honey”, and slower, more emotional songs such as ”Swimming”, the band maintains a common surf rock sound throughout. While many albums I’ve heard lately consist of a track list that sounds relatively the same, “Swell” brings different moods to the table with each alternating track. Not only does each song feel different to the listener, but every track can be interpreted and felt in different ways. I’ve often found myself listening to a track such as “Monterrey”, and hearing it as upbeat and joyous, while the next day I feel a completely different vibe, changing how I perceive the tracks upon each listen. Containing only 5 songs with the entire EP lasting around 17 minutes, “Swell” is a great album to listen to on the go. Personally, I love the quick feeling of the EP and find myself listening to it multiple times a day.

The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground and Nico

Backed by Andy Warhol, The Velvet Underground’s debut album, “The Velvet Underground and Nico” was released in 1967. Released in a time period where the majority of music represented a more positive, “hippy” image, The Velvet Underground showed the dark side of the US, specifically of New York City. Lou Reed, the band’s front man, writes the songs on the album based on darker subjects that were occurring in New York at the time, such as prostitution and the heroin epidemic. With topics like these, this album will give you a different perspective on the 60’s than the majority of music popular in that era. Mixing soothing music with darker lyrics, The Velvet Underground carries a unique sound that I love. Tracks such as “Sunday Morning” and “Heroin” create a euphoric peaceful sound that is simply pleasant for any listener, while songs such as “I’m Waiting For The Man” and “Venus In Furs” are more upbeat yet still gritty, which changes up the sound throughout. On my first listening of the album years ago, I found Lou Reed’s voice and the sound of the band as whole very strange, but after learning more about the music and the context behind the band, I began to appreciate all that The Velvet Underground has done for music.

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