Vampire Mansion has released “HYPNOS”, a 5-song EP that is equally upbeat and introspective. The much-anticipated project connects the Alabama band with production and mixing experts that hail from The Panda Studios in California. The video for the single “SuperIdol” has already been released, with a live performance of “Ricochet” and the music video for “DeeperMoon” (featuring Dream Club) coming up over the next couple of weeks. The band is in a groove after releasing their most extensive project to date and is excited to continue the roll-outs and tour dates into 2023.
The first official single from Vampire Mansion was released on Halloween 2021. The song received great reviews but the band saw some member changes and took things slower for a bit. Things changed after a trip to San Francisco to see the Australian indie surf rock quartet Last Dinosaurs at The Regency. The intention was to simply clear the mind while enjoying a special musical moment, but the winds of destiny had a different plan in mind.
“I actually bumped into the producer for the EP while at this show because I heard someone talking about guitar pedals behind me,” Vampire Mansion's lead singer recalls. Instagram connections and loose plans to stay in touch were soon made. The producer, Sim Bhatia, worked with The Panda Studios - an operation that has worked with famed groups like The Story So Far and State Champs. Bhatia was looking to add more projects to his catalog and reached out to Vampire Mansion. The band recalls being surprised that a follow-up actually occurred, but ready to hone in on the moment.
The final result is a collection of three new songs and two that are re-recorded with Bhatia as producer and fellow Panda expert Samuel Pura mastering. “This was very much a bedroom album. Everything was remote,” Cao explains. The songs were mostly written already, but the band spruced them up a bit in August before recording their parts in September. They sent out their recordings for mixing and began filming music videos with LCY Media in November. “It’s actually pretty timely for a music release,” the band laughs, “It didn’t feel like it for us because we were living in it day-to-day, and when it’s the only thing that you have it feels like an opportunity. Now that things are starting to move, we definitely cherish the time that we had to sit down and be thoughtful about music.”
Most of the writing on “Hypnos” comes from a deeply personal space with the intention of guiding the listener through a few existential thoughts (while having something to move their feet to). The first song on the album “Ricochet” tells how “you should be yourself because even when you try to be someone else there will always be people that don’t like you.” “SuperIdol” follows up with another meaningful line of thought. The song is about “how toxic it is in a relationship to put someone up on a pedestal. In personal relationships and with celebrities - people think they are doing service to the person on the pedestal by putting them up there but it creates so much space and division that it wouldn’t do any good.”
“DeeperMoon” is the most feely track on the album. The song was written on the same day as “SuperIdol” and the band rode a writer’s high to create a musical marvel that was inspired by the then-daily routine of songwriting, looking at a lot of screens, and catching up with friends online. The last two songs are re-recordings that fans may remember but need to enjoy in their final form. “DeluSion” is centered around the attention musicians, actors, and similar people get for their work and how that spotlight can quickly go to the head. “(I was) trying to communicate an ego check to myself. I don’t know if it will ring true with other people but I hope it does.” “NightBeach” was the band’s first video release, but features entirely new sounds in the new recording.
Vampire Mansion leans into highlighting guitars as a guiding principle in their tracks and brought in some new elements for this project as well. “We’ve always been into very guitar-centric music and it really shows. This whole EP is a whole ensemble of two to three guitars sometimes and then a bass and drums. I started getting really into Charli XCX in the middle of it so there are electronic aspects of it - especially in the bridges.”
The release has seen the band make connections across the country and see a large boost in international presales. As the brand continues to expand, Birmingham’s role as a home base has only become more clear to the members. As one bandmate shares, “Birmingham for me is very much solitude when I want it. Even though I’ve lived here for most of my life it feels like a getaway. A haven that I can be myself in. I’ll travel to other cities but it’s always nice to come back here. It’s very comforting. It’s parallel to me writing in the comfort of my room.”
“We really want to share this music with people. We feel it has a message that people can relate to,” Vampire Mansion shares of their inspirations. We would say mission success.
Featured images taken by LCY Media