Music and surfing, surfing and music…like a coach and a team, peaches and cream, etc. They go insanely well together.
I’ve recently been doing a series of interviews with musicians that surf, mostly because the conversations flow when the common ground of surfing is the topic. To add to that, I genuinely like the music my interview subjects produce; maybe even more like love.
It may be because their water experience flows into their music and resonates with me. Though I’ve not met or interviewed Kenny Vasoli, lead singer of Vacationer, as of yet, I decided to post up the band’s latest single and video, “The Wild Life”. It’s off their album Relief, which was released on June 23rd.
Kenny’s a surfer, see, and though their label describes this song as “[mixing] the influence of
The Beach Boys, J. Dilla and LCD Soundsystem into a sonic mai tai,” throwing down comparisons simply puts mental walls around the experience of a first listen without the influential notion of trying to pick out other bands’ sounds and musical styling.
Plus, I have a fundamental problem with the Beach Boys comparison. At least give Kenny some credit, he actually surfs, while the band once dubbed “America’s Band” only had one member who ever even set foot on a board, and only casually at that.
I might be using logic that only surfers will understand, but the surfing aspect of life, once taken root, shows through in the music. Hence the reason that while The Beach Boys were embraced by the mainstream and labeled “surf music” by the clueless masses, it was never considered surf music by real surfers of the day; an era of surfing defined by counter-culture rebellion, when surfers were outcasts. We’re not outcasts anymore (most of us, at least), but the essence and attitude of surfing still remain. It’s a drug, it’s addictive, and it teaches us things about life that simply can’t be learned elsewhere.
While “The Wild Life” isn’t a song I fell immediately in love with, it’s clear from the video imagery that Kenny has been to many places similar to where I’ve traveled. That tropical and carefree attitude is palpable in both the song and video, and I can sense that song coming to him on a trip somewhere in Central America, where the pace of life slows down considerably, allowing for freer, right-brained type of thought.
The parts that really hook me in and put a smile on my face: The feeling of being on a surf trip that the video evokes, and the lyrics, “No point in making plans, the wild life is human nature.” Go off the grid, get in the water, live life at its purest. Ahhh. I’m all for “The Wild Life”.