In the beginning, like the early years of the 2000s, there was Fracture, a mostly electronic solo project by Ralph Zeimet. For his last album under that band name, he was joined by guitarist Sébastien Laas, who back them was also active with his project Cyclorama. In 2011, it was decided to continue performing under the name Daily Vacation, as the sound had changed with the new member(s), plural between brackets because on stage they perform with drummer Pit Reyland who is also a member of Cyclorama.

Daily Vacation’s first album Yumaque came out in 2012, and then there was silence. A Jams & Rarities compilation was released two years ago, but now the guys are back with their second full-length album Palmela. If the first one was a journey to Peru, this time they stayed closer to home, by naming their album after a town in Portugal.

In some ways, not that much has changed since the predecessor, and yet, if you give Palmela enough time, you will notice that the music has matured over time. The songs are basically mellower and more relaxed than in the past. Some songs are carried by the guitar and come with a more psychedelic feeling, like the excellent opener Over The Tide, at seven minutes on of the longer tracks. It’s interwoven guitar lines remind me of Spiritualized, while the metronomic beat might hint at certain krautrock artists. The following Hurricane Shiva is the only track under four minutes, and mesmerises with its simple yet beautiful recurring guitar melody. If psychedelic rock were to be played on the radio, this would be the hit single. The middle of the album features more synth-oriented tracks, which also works very well in the band’s favour. Ralph has really used the time to work on his synth skills, and the beats are sometimes programmed quite nicely, while at other times they might feel a little more basic, which also manages to work a charm on a more naïve level.

Sébastien’s other band Cyclorama has stronger shoegaze vibes, so he can work on his psychedelic rocking side with Daily Vacation, whereas Ralph’s synth patterns flirt with chillwave influences, although Daily Vacation manage to sound more organic and alive. Palmela is a surprise release after a decade long break, and it’s a well-balanced mix of psychedelic rock and chillwave that should appeal to fans of guitar and synth music alike. Welcome back, guys, and please promise not to have us wait so long anymore.

8 songs

41:33 minutes

***** ***

Genre: psychedelic rock / chillwave

Label: Schnurstrax

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