On Friday, September 30, Brooklyn duo Vacant Lots will release their new album, Closure, via Fuzz Club Records. The group previously released the singles “Consolation Prize” and “Thank You,” each of which balanced a hazy, gothic atmosphere with pulsing beats and dancefloor-friendly synthesizers, balancing the timeless cool of The Jesus and Mary Chain with the pop immediacy of mid-’80s Depeche Mode. It’s music for dark sunglasses and leather jackets, late night drives and goth-dance ecstasy.
Ahead of its Friday release, Treble is hosting a stream of the album in its entirety. Vacant Lots’ Jared Artaud has also put together a track-by-track commentary for the album. Read that below and stream Vacant Lots’ Closure.
When something ends it’s a lot easier to look back and see it for what it really was. In time, you can see the duality of love and loss in a clearer perspective. It’s a process, but nothing is worse than wasting your time. Sometimes it’s more devastating losing the time you had than the person you thought you loved. It was pretty surreal hearing Iggy Pop play it on his radio show back in February. That kinda kicked off the album cycle feeling more real.
In the beginning of any relationship you can really lose yourself in another person. There is something inherently infinite but also terribly fleeting about love. Under the surface there’s this feeling of will it last forever or will it last for now. You start off reaching for the stars and end up thinking life is your consolation prize. I mean, if you’re thinking “life is my consolation prize” then you know you’re in trouble.
I love the simplicity not just in the music but the words. There’s a tension and mood created here that really shows another side of what we’re all about and the music we like to make. I don’t see closure as an end but rather a new beginning.
The pervasive uncertainty during the pandemic didn’t influence the songs in an obvious way, but it did amplify preexisting feelings of isolation. I was more impacted by Kobe Bryant’s tragic death more than having to social distance indefinitely. Nevertheless, we were writing in a more direct and vulnerable way than ever before and I think it shows on all the songs, especially this one.
When I take downers I find myself getting really amped up. That’s how this song, Thank You and Consolation Prize came about. Our longtime friend in New Mexico whom we call Night Nurse gave me a vile of liquid morphine. It lasted about a week, which is how all 3 of those songs were made.
Chase is about the struggle to love someone across different time zones and the desire to close that gap of separation. The mood of the album shifts here before the record comes to a close. When we worked on this song sometimes I wanted to dance and sometimes I wanted to take a pill and sink into the couch.
We recorded the whole album at both of our home studios during the pandemic. We were never in the same place at the same time when we recorded this album during lockdown conditions. But it didnt effect our method at all, which has been to build up each song track by track until it’s done. No demos. No rehearsals. No going into a bigger studio to re-record stuff. Work with what you have & then off to Maurizio to mix it. This one is about movement and atmosphere, so we stole the title from the master visionary filmmaker, Antonioni.
Sometimes I get obsessed with chord progressions. And entire songs get built around one simple idea. I’m letting myself get more comfortable with being uncomfortable. For me, Love songs are permeated with a lot of loss. There isn’t always light at the end of the tunnel but you can always burn bridges to light the road ahead.
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.