Sunday, June 04, 2023

Vista Blue - Runaway

My goodness — how long has it been since I last reviewed Vista Blue? It has been almost 48 hours. What a different world it was just two days ago. I was two days younger, and the Philadelphia Stars still had a winning record. I had never tried the chicken strips from Sheetz. I was so innocent then. But I awoke today with news of another EP from one of my favorite bands! 

I always like it when bands I love release full collections of covers. There's just something neat about songwriters I admire paying homage to the songwriters they admire. It's like a window into the soul of a musician. Mike and Mark from Vista Blue recorded Runaway a few days back. Mike remarks that the songs selected are from bands that have been huge influences on his songwriting for a long time. They have been arranged to sound like they could have been Vista Blue originals, but the larger goal here is to bring attention to the original versions and get people to check out the bands that recorded them. Needless to say, the band didn't go with any obvious choices. As much as I'd like to hear Vista Blue take a stab at, say, "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here," that would not be nearly as educational. The band went pretty deep here, and that's commendable. And with all these songs coming from the general world of indie pop and twee, that gives this EP a poppier feel that really hits a sweet spot for me. The songs covered are Imperial Teen's "Runaway" (from 2012's Feel the Sound), All Girl Summer Fun Band's "Ticking Timebomb" (from 2003's 2), Television Personalities' classic single "14th Floor", and Camera Obscura's "Come Back Margaret" (from 2006's Let's Get Out of This Country). To say that Mike picked great songs to cover would be an understatement. These are amazing songs that the world should know. Of course they've been given the proper Vista Blue treatment to delightful effect. No Vista Blue fan will be disappointed. But the band's real hope is that you'll like these songs so much that you'll want to hear the original versions, explore the full catalogs of the bands that authored them, and eventually "send them love letters." Sounds like a plan to me! Music is a beautiful thing.

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