Wollongong rockers and festival faves The Vanns have finally uncorked their debut record ‘Through The Walls’, and it is packed to the brim with the charm and infectious hooks that we’ve come to know and love from the band, along with evocative and emotional songwriting.
Today, The Vanns have given Music Feeds an exclusive insight into what went into writing each of the album’s twelve searing tracks.
1. Red Eye Flight (Cam)
This song is pretty self-explanatory. A chronological story about being in a long-distance relationship whilst being in a touring band, and sitting burnt out in a van/on a plane and literally counting the days on your phone calendar until you get to see somebody you miss again.
2. Mother (Jimmy)
I had both verses written for this song then it sat on the back burner for quite some time before it came to any sort of fruition. I was showing our Producer Oscar Dawson some tracks I had been writing and I pulled it out to try to bring it to life again. We got guitar-heavy and worked on a big riff which is now the focus in the chorus which took the song in a whole new direction. Still keeping those original mellow verse ideas then exploding into this fuzzy, gritty chorus. It was a joy to make.
3. Deranged (Jimmy)
I wrote most of the lyrics for this song before adding any instruments. The song came about whilst I was staying over in London and I had up until the first chorus written with a rough melody. Once I brought the song home it took a whole new direction of meaning.
4. Chelsea (Jimmy)
I’ve always seen this song as Part 2 of ‘Deranged’ which is why these tracks are side by side on the album. ‘Chelsea’ was the suburb in London where I staying when I started writing ‘Deranged’. Both these songs reminisce on a moment in time with someone; yet it being love lost, it still remains a special memory.
5. Jules Said (Cam)
This was the first song that Jim and I wrote for the album. It was mid-2017 and we had just spent the whole morning working on instrumental ideas in Logic with the idea that “we’ll do lyrics later” and it wasn’t really going anywhere. We went out to lunch and were like “when we get back, let’s just sit down with two guitars and write a song without a computer.” We wrote and demoed this song in my bedroom in about an hour. It’s our campfire ditty.
6. Thieves (Cam)
I had the first verse and chorus in my phone voice memos for months before we fleshed this one out. It’s a song about wanting a life that others possess and failing to realise that not everybody’s existence is as amazing as it seems at first glance. It also deals with the envy and sadness of seeing somebody you love move on with somebody else somewhat easily. It also has a Ned Flanders quote.
7. How Was I Supposed to Know (Cam)
There’s a lyric in this song that goes “confined, caught up in the piss-up that’s your life”, which I feel sums up the whole message of the song. It’s about a deep frustration caused by an amalgam of envy, anger, sadness, and still being mentally and romantically stuck in the past.
8. Call (Jimmy)
This song was originally a very punky and gritty jam when we came up with the idea. Our producer Oscar was on the bass, Cam was on the drums and I was on guitar. We spent hours jamming this riff out and having no intentions to finish the song, we were just having a ball together making a racket and screaming into a microphone. We didn’t bring the idea back to life until the last few days of recording the album.
9. You & I (Jimmy)
The simple things you share within a relationship should never be taken for granted. The song explores this confused, back and forth mindset of unnecessary problems and questions you create in your own head and how they’re so easily erased when in the presence of someone close to you.
10. Jasmine (Cam)
I started writing this song as a joke. I have a fence right outside of my studio door covered in Jasmine, and in Spring it causes me to have some pretty serious allergies, which sucks because Jasmine is such a beautiful plant. This song is literally about that, whilst also serving as a metaphor for loving somebody you are just not compatible with, for whatever reason. The idea that you can be emotionally allergic to somebody was an interesting catalyst for a tune.
11. Chaka Fan (Cam)
Thematically, this song is rooted in delusion. It’s about the worst part of a break up where, despite the evidence, you’re trying so hard to convince yourself that somebody is still right for you that you may actually catch glimpses where you believe yourself. There is an incoherence in the lyrics that’s intentional, to kind of map the wayward mental-state of the character. For example, the whole second verse is about being a big fan of Chaka Khan. Anything becomes a good distraction when you have something unpleasant you’re trying not to think about.
12. Fake Friends (Jimmy)
As a band, we could all agree without saying this track would be the one to close out the album. It felt like it summed up our new direction as a band and it had this energy we could not get enough of when we played it live.