ALBUM REVIEW: Vacations – ‘No Place Like Home’

Australian indie-rock band Vacations comfort themselves over life’s uncertainties with expansive melodies on their new album, No Place Like Home, released January 12, 2024, under No Fun. The New South Wales quartet consists of frontman Campbell Burns, Jake Johnson, Nate Delizzotti, and Joseph Van Lier. Produced by Burns and John Velasquez (Zella Day, Ella Vos, Broods), No Place Like Home explores the challenging yet transformative periods of mental health, sexuality, and moving away from home.

The adventure starts with the opening track “Next Exit,” a quintessential indie-pop track akin to Dayglow. Following the band’s two sold-out tours in the US and Mexico, the track’s buzzy, cheerful pace opens listeners up to the stagnant loop the bandmates found themselves trapped in. “I’ll give this one more try / Before I take the next exit / Off the highway / Into a different life.”

Vacations - Next Exit (Official Music Video)

Title track, “No Place Like Home,” begins with mellow guitar-picking over Burns’ introspective lyricism seamlessly flows alongside the nostalgic melodies. “Change course, sail away from your arms / It’s not safe here anymore / We aren’t the same / I can’t choose to remain here anymore.” The following song, “Over You,” details Burns’ recent Pure OCD diagnosis. Written from the disorder’s viewpoint, the song bears heavy, intimate lyrics without losing the listener in its reflections. “Rehearse your ritual / Act out what’s good for you / Preach your flaws, the only thing that’s true.”

Vacations - No Place Like Home (Official Audio)

“Midwest,” No Place Like Home‘s fifth track, is a break-up song in its own right. The track details the universally relatable struggles of a long-distance relationship. Experimenting with drum machines and fresh indie-pop synths, the band slightly misses the mark on their melancholic Americana-esque roadtrip track. “I don’t mean to be pedantic / I’m hopeless, but maybe romantic / I can’t escape the feeling / That distance is growing.”

Vacations - Midwest (Official Music Video)

No Place Like Home closes with “Lost in Translation,” an acoustic tune reflecting on miscommunication and the growing fractures in a relationship. “If it all goes up in flames / What will be left of us / Ashes to ashes / Dust to dust.” Echoing the album’s overall theme of self-exploration, this final track places the band right back into the loop they found themselves in at the beginning. No Place Like Home is full of energetic melodies contrasted by an exploration of emotions present in life’s sensitive yet disruptive moments.

Vacations - Lost in Translation (Official Audio)