Massachusetts-based indie rock band Vundabar was created in 2013. The two founders, lyricist, guitarist and lead singer Brandon Hagen and drummer Drew MacDonald, formed Vundabar while in high school. They were soon joined by bassist Zac Abramo. To date, they have released four albums: “Antics,” “Gawk,” “Smell Smoke” and “Either Light.”
Sweeping across TikTok, Vundabar has been gaining more attention these past few months. Their song “Alien Blues” has increased in popularity on Spotify with over four million streams to date, a sharp rise from their 100,000 streams in 2018.
In February of 2020, a month before the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, Vundabar released their newest album: “Either Light.” This hauntingly beautiful composition of what can best be described as complete nonsense was the foundation of my sanity during lockdown. A softer shift from their more punk influenced albums, “Either Light” helps listeners find themselves after a period of isolation. “Either Light” is a perfect album to listen to when in need of comfort and relaxation.
Hagen is no stranger to the motif of death, a theme that permeates his songs, and he carefully encapsulates grief and mourning into many of the band’s compositions. Hagen’s voice is the shovel that digs up hidden pain with each note.
Hagan’s lyrics can be deeply meaningful. The song “Out of It” concludes with a struggle many may have experienced during the lockdown, where Hagan screams the lyrics “can you get me out of it?” Likewise, Hagan’s lyrics can be quite silly, yet they work. In the song “Burned Off,” you can hear the lyrics “inertia crocodile.” I have no clue what that means, but it does not distract from the overall effect of the song.
In “Wax Face,” the song begins with an acapella guitar in the minor key that creates feelings of hope in the midst of despair. It slowly builds to the climax where the other members join in. Not all songs are depressing, though. “Montage Music” is a chaotic, good-feeling song that is the light at the end of a dark tunnel. The musicians’ chemistry is a sure sign that this band will be around for a long time.
The only potential pitfall of their music is that they are not mainstream, which isn’t a bad thing. They are weird, silly musicians that care about creating music. Additionally, if you’re ever in the mood for a laugh, their low budget music videos are a perfect mix of chaos and beautiful music.
I hope their new popularity does not affect their presence. I fell in love with this band the moment I first heard them. I knew their popularity would be inevitable. Vundabar’s potential can easily reshape the indie music genre.
Their new album “Devil For The Fire” will be released on Feb. 11. Three songs have been pre-released: “Aphasia,” “Ringing Bell” and “Devil For The Fire.” They can be found on any music streaming platform.