Review: ‘Intermission’ Offers Intermission on Hectic Schedules

The end of the semester is usually bad times.

Thankfully, an endearing indie rock EP called “Intermission” just arrived to make things a bit better.

“Intermission” is the new EP by the band No Vacation and was released digitally Nov. 17. It is No Vacation’s first release since “Amo XO” in 2015. There are five songs on the EP, and it runs 15 minutes.

Warm and immediate are the best adjectives to describe “Intermission.” Everything about the EP, from the whispering vocals to the echoing bass and lush guitar riffs, creates a charming vibe throughout.

TOPSHELF RECORDS | PHOTO COURTESY
‘Intermission’ is No Vacation’s first release since their album, ‘Amo XO,’ was released in 2015.

“Yam Yam” starts off “Intermission.” The song’s lyrics — like all the others on the EP — are simple, but tender. “When morning comes our way, I’ll be here to stay,” is the song’s chorus and it sounds like a line from a best friend. Lyrics like these help “Intermission” give off strong comfort vibes.

Simultaneously, “Intermission” has a melancholy spine. The music itself is relaxed, but not overly upbeat. A sense of longing that is sometimes indicative of indie rock permeates the entire production. Two of the five songs on the EP have slightly gloomier lyrics than the others, but musically there is not much difference from the more optimistic songs.

Unless you are paying close attention to the lyrics, you probably will not notice much difference in tone between tracks.

Emotionally, the EP seems to make a trough, or a ‘u’ shape. The cheery stuff is on both ends with the sadness and anxiety hanging out in the middle. “Yam Yam” is a positive song about sticking with someone in tough times. “You’re Not With Me” follows and is about drifting apart and separation.

Dropped in the middle of the EP is a one-minute track titled “Intermission.” The song consists entirely of a piano solo accompanied by a thunderstorm. After “Intermission,” we get “Reaper.”

“Reaper” is the most interesting song on the EP. It seems to be about death, but it may be more about anxiety. Either way, “Reaper” leads to “Mind Fields,” which ends “Intermission” on a higher emotional note.

“Mind Fields” has the most developed lyrics on the EP. The song is about taking in the moment and it features the best line on the album, “Just relax, time will pass if you let it go.” I find that thought a comforting one, especially in these academic times.

“Intermission” is a quick shot of relaxing tunes that will make early December’s disarray go by a little smoother. No Vacation has created a relaxing, easy-to-listen-to EP that is simple in presentation and execution, but is brimming with complexities and nuances.

“Intermission” is available for streaming on the usual platforms. A vinyl release is scheduled for Dec. 15.

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