Basic Vacation EP Review

We must be making a name for ourselves! Or rather, someone must have read this blog. Capitol Records was kind enough to send us a copy of Basic Vacation’s new eponymous EP. Thanks, Capitol!

Will’s take on the EP:

Overall, it seems like Basic Vacation has the right formula to go big. Right off the bat, they remind me of early Imagine Dragons. The second track, “Jamie,” is especially reminiscent of the 2009 Imagine Dragons EP. I say this because the track, while covering quite a sad topic, comes across as uplifting, and maybe just a bit British.

“Jamie” is the exception though. “I Believe,” “It’s All Happening,” and “You’re In My Head” are quite uplifting, featuring surging lead guitar riffs, heavy bass kicks and big synth lines.

What especially interested me is the album cover. At first glance, it’s depressing and quite eerie. But after listening to the EP, the cover takes on a totally new light. It’s not eerie, but literally uplifting. The woman is clearly unhealthy, but she is shedding her bonds and is moving towards something new. And that’s exactly what this album says to me.

Overall, “Basic Vacation” is quite satisfying. It’s upbeat, easy to listen to, and ready for radio. I would not be surprised at all to hear them on the radio in the not too distant future. I would recommend them to anyone who likes Imagine Dragons, Atlas Genius, fun., or Young The Giant.

You might as well pick up the whole EP, but…tracks to buy:

“I Believe”


“You’re In My Head”


3.7 out of 5 stars

Micah’s take on the EP:

I must say, these guys have songwriting chops. And that’s saying something, coming from me: Basic Vacation, like Will said, sounds a lot like Imagine Dragons and fun., but those are two of my least favorite bands currently on the airwaves. To me, their sound just comes off as too polished, too chorus-happy – in short, too generic.

And that’s what I think Basic Vacation has to get over to reach its full potential. The songs are fully realized and radio-ready to a fault, but they all have the same instrumentation and production – heavy, low guitar; drums á la fun.’s “Some Nights,” some token backing vocals, and if we’re lucky, a bit of synth. The songs can’t be the power pop anthems they could be because they’re drowning in boring production. Despite their obvious melodic differences, “I Believe,” “It’s All Happening,” and “You’re In My Head” could essentially be the same song the way they’re produced.

What gives me hope, though, is that with a little tinkering, these songs could be magnificent. Moving the bass-treble balance up a little and changing the clean-guitar riff in “I Believe” to a horn section would do wonders for it, as would giving “You’re In My Head” the creative percussion it deserves.

I know Basic Vacation can do this because “Jaime” proves it. It’s a synth-heavy track, and yeah, it sounds a little like Imagine Dragons, but the instrumentation is different enough that it shines. The guitar is replaced by a bass synth; the chorus is spare. Thus equipped with breathing room, Basic Vacation shimmers.

Tracks to buy:


“I Believe”


3 out of 5 stars