If you’re not already excited by the fact that the four day weekend starts tomorrow, then get hyped by the fact that it’s also the day that our fave indie dreamboats, The Vaccines, drop their brand new album, Combat Sports.
Set to be full of bangers (The Vaccines are notorious for them), the fourth record sees the quintet – made up of Justin Hayward-Young, Freddie Cowan, Árni Árnason, Tim Lanham and Yoann Intont – championing The Vaccines “sound” and owning it. And with a tour to follow – including a top spot at Community Festival – it’s sure to be the soundtrack to everyone’s summer.
Destined to wow us when its released tomorrow, we got Justin to take us through the songs that shaped the record and they’re obviously all fab. A definite foreshadowing of how great their own new record will be, tune in now…
Harry Nilsson – “Turn On Your Radio”
One of the greatest singers and songwriters of all time. One of the first songs we wrote that informed our new album was a song called “Your Love Is My Favourite Band”. It was a real turning point for us and the first lyric goes “I turn my radio on for you baby.” That was definitely inspired by this song. Rough and smooth in equal measure. So good.
Buzzcocks – “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays”
This came on in a bar in LA when I was there to do some writing last year and it reminded me how fun and sexy rock n roll can be. I think I’d forgotten. It’s really hard to write upbeat songs sometimes, because you have to have conviction in what you’re doing and it has to feel authentic. It can be hard to match hopeless lyrics with euphoric melodies. The Buzzcocks did it so well.
Roxy Music – “Virginia Plain”
Roxy Music were another band that reminded us how important it was to have an energy and spirit at the core of what you do. this song sounds like a freight train. There’s so much raw power in it. On face value, it could be taken as pretty simple and dumb, but if you really listen then it’s incredibly colourful and musical – and pretty weird as well. I think we aspire to having all of those qualities in our music too.
Leonard Cohen – “Take This Waltz”
Leonard Cohen reminded me of the importance of finding your own voice. I love how he can take a simple sentence and flip its meaning just be switching one word. I always try to be as honest as I can when I’m writing lyrics. I want to make myself feel uncomfortable and I want them to sound like they’ve come from me and no one else. I think I lost sight of that for a while. LC is the master of it.
Dwight Twilley – “Looking For The Magic”
This is in my top 25 most played on iTunes so I think that counts as an influence. Wherever we are and whatever we’re doing, we always come back to this song. There’s just something about it. theres an amazing video that accompanies it on Youtube too. It’s one of the most under appreciated songs of all time I think, and it has Tom Petty playing bass too!
Mick Ronson – “Growing Up And I’m Fine”
We all love Ronson’s guitar playing and he’s had a big influence on Freddie. He’s instantly recognisable as a guitarist. Always weird but always hooky too. I’d never really listened to much of his solo stuff before we made this record though. This song is amazing. So fun. Part-Bowie, Part-Ian Hunter. Check it!
The Vaccines album Combat Sports is out tomorrow! They will play London’s Community Festival on Sun 1 July. Tickets available here.