What would you do on a two year vacation? Let my tell you what: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Because already the great Winnie the Pooh knew doing nothing often leads to the very best of something. Or, in this case, the indie pop sensation of the summer, nay, the year. And frankly, endless summer is already here! The holiday you never dared to dream of, the sabbatical you never had the courage to ask your grumpy boss for, the vacation you will never, ever forget. Pro slackers Two Year Vacation have arrived to bring you your very own getaway, the infectious pop version of a memo to your boss telling him to leave you alone for good.
Theirs is a shared passion for sun-baked pop anthems, for endless days in the sun and for fancy sundowners by the pool – and their debut “Slacker Island” is a manifesto for chillaxing the f*** out of yourself. “It’s an album about escaping to this perfect, sunny, chilled island that has the form of a pizza”, keyboardist Max Hessman is inaugurating us novices to the art of escapism. Their music sounds like that, too. Juicy Pop, so bright it has to wear sunglasses. Usually, it comes from regions of beaches, babes and BBQs. Where it most certainly does not come from is, for instance, Sweden, whose long winters tend to inspire a more gloomy, doomy, harsh kind of music. Not that Two Year Vacation would care. Indeed coming from Sweden, and loving it, they still sound like a troupe of hippie renegades from California, like a band of surfers from Hawaii or like a stag night ensemble sunbathing on the beaches of Cancun.
Bass player György Barocsai, who also produced the album, weighs in on their fun-loving sound.“Obviously, ABBA have had a tremendously big influence on all of us! And a of lot the old Italian disco stuff.” No wonder they have their very own island, aptly titled “Slacker Island”, to flee to. Also the name of their summerly debut, Two Year Vacation are here to turn us all into islanders. Not the desperate, funny type of islander you might remember from “Lost” or “Castaway” but rather the sort of relaxed Gilligan type of islander.
Of course, once you think about it, the question shouldn’t be WHY this kind of music is coming from a country like Sweden. Instead, the question must be why it is NOT coming from Sweden more often! Why also sing about that darned long winter when you have it on your doormat? Escapism as a key virtue, that’s what Two Year Vacation are on about. Barocsai grins. “It‘s pretty much our life, actually: We don‘t really care about anything else but the music.” It’s paying off already as the band is gathering momentum before the release of “Slacker Island”. Now it’s all about the debut, the next big step. And with a band like Two Year Vacation, you can always be sure they’d do anything for their music. “We have done our fair share of weird stuff already”, Hessman laughs. “We quit jobs for this band, we ended relationships, we moved.”
As if latter-day Arctic Monkeys had embodied Two Door Cinema Club‘s juvenile verve while drinking in the ABBA museum, Two Year Vacation are here to drive out all stale sense of the mundane. They replace it with a carelessness that is just about right to forget the turmoil of the world. For two years now, the band have been working on these tunes, tucked away in their very own bubble within music city Gothenburg. This, by the way, is all thanks to producer György Barocsai who coincidentally worked with all of them before. “At some point he suggested we should hang and play together”, Hessman recalls this fateful meeting. Barocsai chuckles. “Pretty much like a boyband!”
Coming from various backgrounds ranging from Punk to Rock or Heavy Metal, the five members decided to take an altogether different approach. In Two Year Vacation, they all found what they didn’t even know they were looking for. “We all played with other people before but never with people which it worked out so well”, claims singer Anton Tuvesson. “We write good songs, we like hanging out and have that special chemistry on stage. There was that point where all of us just realized: Shit, this works just perfect! It’s just like finding the perfect girlfriend or boyfriend. And everybody knows how rare that is!”
Be it the carefree, funky anthem “Better off alone”, the fast-paced, irresistible swagger of “The way I was before”, the unforgettable “Renegades of the groove”, the easy-going slacker manifesto “360 degrees of sunrise” or “Don’t wanna go home”, written on a diet of sunlight and Gin and Tonic: Two Year Vacation have a mission. A mission to make you smile, to make you happy and maybe to make you drunk. Next time it’s raining cats and dogs, then, next time you miss the bus or don‘t get what you wanted, just take a deep breath and listen to Two Years Vacation. The next summer is just a song away – and Slacker Island is open all year round!