Sep 06, 2022
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Luz Gallardo
The Vacant Lots are a Brooklyn-based duo that have crafted a take on post punk and synth pop that is both turbulent and evocative, pulling from ‘80s touchstones like New Order and electronic trailblazers like Suicide. Jared Artaud and Brian MacFadyen have been sharing their atmospheric stylings since their 2014 debut, Departure, returning most recently in 2020 with their twin records, Interzone and Damage Control.
Later this month they’re back with another new record, Closure, recorded between their home studios during lockdown. The full record is out September 30th, but ahead of the release the band have shared a series of new singles, including this year’s “Chase” and “Thank You.” Today, the pair are back with their latest single, “Consolation Prize,” premiering early with Under the Radar.
“Consolation Prize” leans into the spacious and gothic side of post punk, with the track building on top of abstract synth drones, minimalist percussion, and marching wiry bursts of rhythm guitar. Though the track gains some layers of gauzy noise by its climax, it still shines with a decadent slow-burn, effortlessly balancing the icy vocals and the simmering haze of instrumentation.
Artaud says of the track’s inspirations, “In the beginning of any relationship, you can really lose yourself in another person. There’s something inherently infinite, but also terribly fleeting about love. This duality of will it last forever or will it last for now. You start off reaching for the stars and end up thinking life is your consolation prize. Then there is the music, which is like slow dancing on Benzos. Music for loners and lovers.”
McFadyen continues, saying of the track, “Consolation Prize opens with a swirl of modulated drones from an Arp Solus. This free-form soundscape is anchored with an arpeggiated bassline from the Arp 2600, minimal drum beat and rhythm guitar. The track builds towards the end with the final chorus featuring some additional parts from a Wurlitzer 200 and Juno 60.”
Check out the song and video below. Closure is out September 30th on Fuzz Club Records. Pre-order the record here.