Music is the most beautiful constant in life that is eternally reimagined. The idea of continual growth and changes is what UK band The Vamps, comprised of Connor Ball, Tristan Evans, James McVey and Brad Simpson, have brought with their fifth studio album Cherry Blossom. The foursome has seen so much success already with millions of fans worldwide, multiple world tours, awards and being the first band ever to headline London’s famous O2 Arena five years in a row, the new album will be a new addition to the list.
This 11-track LP is unlike anything the band has put out before, upholding the theme of rebirth that the album represents for the band from pop-centric to a genre-ridden collection of honest singles. From writing bits in the boys’ flats to production on plane rides from Milan to Russia during world tours, this album has been a long time coming. Breaking the boundaries of pop, The Vamps have been crafting this new album for the past two years.
The time off during the pandemic these past six months has let them truly perfect it. The time during lockdown was a blessing in disguise for the band as it gave a definitive meaning to the album of a new beginning and truly being present in life.
For the past six years, The Vamps have been on a never-ending uphill journey in their career with hectic schedules of tours, interviews, studio sessions, millions of albums sold and multiple chart-topping singles that never truly gave the band an authentic break.
“The scary thing about the music industry, and in life, is that you never feel truly stable but that can be seen as a positive, says McVey. “If there’s anything we can stand by is that we have always tried new things and put ourselves out there musically in a different way and being stable can lead to boredom or taking things for granted.”
From listening to the album, stability and familiarity are far from the concept of the album in the best way as they shy away from mainstream pop. Cherry Blossom is a new chapter for the band, shifting the perspective of pop bands.
Their lead single, “Married In Vegas” was a no-brainer as the introduction to The Vamps 2.0 giving fans an upbeat, buzzing song to gear up for a new era that is already thriving with over 6 million streams.
The feedback on singles so far from Evans, “has been incredible and songs like ‘Chemicals’ which was the original DNA for the album” was only a taste of the incredible artistry the band prepared to unfold to the world.
Each song emits a different sound, that perfectly put by Simpson, “feels like a separate characteristic or aspect of someone’s [The Vamps] life” with a collection of songs telling energetic and colorful stories, to raw and genuine ones. Unlike their past work, the band decided to work with a smaller group of writers and producers, with the primary writing and production done by the boys themselves. Being able to take the time to go back to the roots of The Vamps, in order to blossom into the new album was also part of the process that makes the album so unique.
There’s a level of maturity and vulnerability in songs from the album such as “Protocol” and “Treading Water” touching on subjects like loneliness and finding your truest self that have never been explored in such depth before.
With lyrics from “Treading Water” like “Grew up underneath the rising love / Watched it battle through the turbulence / I just wanna feel understood / Patiently I waited patiently to share all of my insecurities / First I really gotta work on me” is a demonstration of the truthfulness the band displays. For the band “writing music is very therapeutic, so to write the best and most honest stuff, you’ve got to put it all out there,” Simpson says about the process of writing and releasing such honest songs.
On the contrary, tracks like “Chemicals” and “Glory Days” shine light on the positive aspects life can bring and showcasing your best, truest self. In “Better” saying “We can do better / I won’t settle for less than best / I say it so I don’t forget,” really amplifies confidence. The mix of sweet and sexy songs like “Part Of Me” and “Nothing But You” or confrontational love songs like “Bitter” and “Would You” create the perfect compilation.
For Simpson, the thing he has looked forward to with the release of the album is the connection people have with the lyrics. “Music tends to play a big part in pulling people out of dark places or bringing a bit of joy to people’s lives, and if we can achieve that we’ve done our job.”
There is no doubt Simpsons’ goal will be achieved as the beautifully formulated lyrics and production permeate every listener’s soul.
Cherry Blossom truly is a testimony to the versatility The Vamps bring to the music industry. A band that perfectly signifies positivity, honesty, love and passion within their music and as individuals. A rollercoaster of emotions is felt listening to the album that illustrates the highs and lows of the relationship with yourself and with others. It’s an album unlike any other, and different from other artists in that there was no model from other artists they wanted to follow, creating an album truly authentic and original.
An embodiment of the always-evolving music The Vamps continue to put out and an illustration of the growth in four young artists in their mid 20’s that their fans who have been on this journey with them can relate to as well.
The message of “getting in touch with yourself and inner emotions,” showcasing true freedom and living in the moment is exactly what Cherry Blossom represents and is more relevant now than ever. It radiates fun and honesty, which is much needed. The rarity of music like The Vamps is on full display in Cherry Blossom for the world to finally hear.
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