Indie-pop gets intimate: Vacations embrace the unknown on No Place Like Home

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Indie-pop gets intimate: Vacations embrace the unknown on No Place Like Home

words by bryget chrisfield

The NSW quartet's third album brings forth a clear vision and a newfound emotional depth.

No Place Like Home’s soothing, wistful title track documents Vacations lead singer/guitarist Campbell Burns’ relocation from Newcastle to Los Angeles, mid last year.

Considering they’re one of the most-played Australian acts on Spotify, this indie-pop quartet’s homeland has certainly been slow on the uptake – they’ve already achieved two Platinum-certified singles (Young and Telephones) in the US, FFS! – so his Stateside move makes perfect sense. 


Burns’ emotive vocal tone and soul-searching lyricism suggest he experiences emotions intensely. Opening track Next Exit, our first taste of the band’s third LP, is about trying to be more present while embracing uncertainty.

Melodically upbeat and carefree, this jangly highlight showcases Burns’ airborne vocal leaps – the excellent Two Door Cinema Club spring to mind. 

Throughout the album, buoyant melodies often juxtapose heavy, deeply personal themes including Burns’ recent Pure OCD diagnosis.

Over You was written from this disorder’s perspective and, although it was penned prior to his diagnosis, some of Terms & Conditions’ lyrics seem eerily prophetic: “I’m a child learning how to walk again… I was playing charades while the house was on fire” 


Field recordings (eg. airport announcements, in-transit convos) – which are most prevalent during the instrumental palate cleanser, Arizona – give the entire record an itinerant quality as each song unfurls like an exciting impromptu adventure. Lost In Translation, the shimmering closer, concludes on a satisfying, reassuring note: “You’ve always been enough.”



Listen to Vacations’ No Place Like Home here.