Two years on from their highly praised work The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke, (top ten releases: All About Jazz) The Vampires return with a new offering: Pacifica.
The Vampires are trailblazers for a new generation of creative jazz talent from Australia, having gained critical attention worldwide by pushing the genre into new realms. Creating a distinctive sound that is undoubtedly their own, the band has garnered praise from US Downbeat (“phenomenal”), UK Guardian (“seductive genre hopping creativity”), The Saturday Paper (“one of my favourite albums of the year”) and All About Jazz (“gold all over”). The Vampires have received nominations for Australia’s ARIA awards, Bell Awards, AIR Awards, and were the first instrumental act to be short-listed for the Australian Music Prize.
Whilst Pacifica sees the Vampires return to the classic chord-less quartet format, the new album is an evolution of the band's sound, leaning further into recording production. 14 new tracks feature the band’s primary compositional voices of saxophonist Jeremy Rose and trumpeter Nick Garbett, whilst adding exciting new tracks for the first time by bassist Alex Boneham and drummer Alex Masso.
Over 53 minutes, Pacifica extends what’s gone before, weaving the bands diverse world-roots jazz stylistic influences together with subtle delicacy, bringing together moments of spontaneity and composition to dramatic affect. “Our music has always been about creating snapshots: places we’ve been to, people we’ve met, musical cultures that fascinated us, drawing from all corners of the world,” says Jeremy Rose. “I feel now that this process is merging, becoming more of the same thing, more authentic for us. In some ways, we are just starting to find our own voice, and this album gets closer to that.”
The album also expands their use of instruments with prominent features of Alex Masso’s percussion on short tracks, Alex Boneham’s electric bass, and a cameo on piano by Rose. Masso says “We followed our instinct on this album, often letting the group decide creatively, leading us into unexpected places. It’s as though we weren’t making decisions on our own, rather the band’s concept lead the music rather than ourselves. We felt more comfortable taking advantage of the production too, using effects, drum machines and extensive multitracking. This has become part of our compositional process now as much as writing a good melody.”
With the band now living in different parts of the world - Alex Boneham is an established presence in Los Angeles whilst Nick Garbett lives in Lampedusa, Italy (where the eerie yet beautiful cover art images of the migrant shipwreck yard were taken), Pacifica is as much a celebration of the band coming together as it is about their deep, long-standing musical kinship.