You know what I like? I like concept albums. I like when an album is truly a sum of its parts, without one track outshining any other as merely a “single” that is meant to sell you on the rest. I mean, okay, there are exceptions to the rule; I’ll fully admit that I originally bought Aqua’s “Aquarium” because of “Barbie Girl” and Savage Garden’s self-titled debut for “I Want You” (after seeing them perform it during Nickelodeon’s Kid Choice Awards), but I eventually discovered that those albums were straight up bangers with every single track (to me). No, really!
Regardless, albums without a cohesive story or theme tend to be like a salad bar; you take what you want and leave the rest. Which is perfectly fine, as I really do enjoy plenty of albums like that, but to me there’s truly something to be said for an album which is an all around “experience” from beginning to end. Especially in these days of streaming music where it does seem like, for the most part, “whole” albums take a bit of a backseat to being merely a collection of random songs or just releasing singles instead. Some like croutons, some don’t, y’know? Continue reading
“The Sun Also Sets” may not contain the usual fang-in-cheek pageantry which most of Vampire Step-Dad’s recent releases have been known for utilizing, in terms of an opening sitcom-like sketch and/or a centralized theme, but it still has some serious melodic bite regardless. Which is to say that, while you won’t find many blood pumping guitar-laden tracks on this album, the synth-fueled melancholy melodies on here are plentiful and reaffirm Vampire Step-Dad as an accomplished maestro of emotions.
This album contains ideal mood music for the Halloween season and is also quite the nostalgic throwback to similar ambient releases of the past which were meant to be played outside your window for any trick-or-treater passing by to maybe think twice about knocking on your door. On top of that, it’s the perfect showcase of Vampire Step-Dad’s incredibly talented ability to easily “change the channel” on his music and deliver something entirely different, and unexpected, but welcomed all the same.
In order to help promote his latest release, entitled NIGHT:SHIFT, everyone’s favorite Vampire Step-Dad decided to have a little listening party with his family on Twitter! The deal was, at 7pm EST on Thursday December 7th, everyone was to listen to the album at the same exact time and then follow along as Vampire Step-Dad himself live-tweeted fun little tidbits and trivia about each track. Did you miss out on the original airing of this prime time special? Well, no worries, because I’ve compiled it into a Twitter Moment so you can experience it again!
In a recent news post, where I announced the return of this blog from it’s month long hiatus, I mentioned a certain person by name who helped to design our new banner: Bernadas, one half of the UK based radio show The Night Call along with his friend James. Well, today I am extremely proud to announce that the two of them have started something special in the form of a new synthwave label entitled the Nokogiri Nami Society. Their first act is to put together a compilation of some top talent in the synthwave scene and donate 100% of the proceeds to Yorkshire Cancer Research (516898), which you can learn more about here: http://yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk/strategy-and-objectives/
As for the Nokogiri Nami Society, they explain their own genesis as follows:
Today is Father’s Day and I therefore thought that now would be as great a time as any to shine the ol’ Synth Spotlight on everyone’s favorite supernatural surrogate patriarch: Vampire-Step Dad!
I already reviewed his latest and greatest release, “Love Bites,” which again is amazing but when you reach a certain age you just have to ask your father the really tough and awkward questions, like why is “My Biological Father a Werewolf“?
I love a good gimmick and Vampire-Step Dad, or Vlad Legosi as his kids call him, is killing it right now with this one. I think it can be explained nicely by just giving the first track, “Thursday at 7,” a listen. Basically it’s a nice tongue in cheek nod to corny sitcoms of years past but, instead of a Small Wonder, you’ve got a well meaning vampire who just wants to be your dad.
Vlad takes this one step further than most by putting out a newsletter for his fan(g)s, both in character and out, giving the character more bite while also explaining his creative process and thoughts behind the scenes. It’s a really unique way to feel connected to the artist and is greatly appreciated.
Also, I’ve heard rumors that if you pay a little bit more than the asking price on orders from him you’ll gain entrance into a secret club! I may or may not be a card carrying member of said club, and often like to think said meetings take place in a treehouse in the suburbs where the Vampire Step-Dad lives… like I said, love the gimmick!
But a gimmick is just that unless you can back it up, right? Well, believe me, Vampire Step-Dad delivers! His music on this album, to me, is reminiscent of an innocent teen comedy or drama from the 80’s. Think John Hughes. There are some somber tracks, showing a softer side of dear old dad, but that isn’t to say that he’s afraid to show a little tough love too. His guitar skills are often hard at work on a few tracks as well, shredding on some choice solos. You can see what I mean by watching a video of his most recent live performance where he opened for Carpenter Brut!
All in all a solid release and I can’t wait to watch the next episode! 😉 Until then, I’ll buy a shirt…