The Vaccines – Back In Love City

Back In Love City is a cinematic trawl through neon-clad Americana, and it's The Vaccines' most ambitious record yet

Album Review by Dylan Tuck | 08 Sep 2021
  • The Vaccines - Back in Love City
Album title: Back In Love City
Artist: The Vaccines
Label: Super Easy/AWAL Recordings
Release date: 10 Sep

When frontman Justin Young accepted a house swap with a stranger, he left behind his London home to embark to the bright city of Los Angeles. As it happened, that decision resulted in the conceptual birth of The Vaccines' most ambitious record to date, Back In Love City. Later recorded in El Paso and inspired by the sin cities of Blade Runner’s LA and Cowboy Bebop’s Fear City, Back In Love City is inherently influenced by its stateside environment – heard on the western/country-rock tinted tracks Alone Star, Wanderlust, and Paranormal Romance.

Young’s jump into pastures new feels significant throughout, coupled with lyrical themes of escapism and adventurous spirit. As such, the record feels purposely detached from much of their discography up until this point. That said, the band’s long championed easy-breezy, summer indie-rock still exists in bursts, found on the infectious lead single Headphones Baby, or notable others like XCT and Jump Off the Top.

Back In Love City is Young’s answer to a disenfranchised world of disconnect, locked between utopia and dystopia. Once casual soft-rockers, this neon-clad, Americana version of The Vaccines provide a cinematic soundtrack to a night lost in the perennial city bar at the end of the world.

Listen to: Headphones Baby, Jump Off the Top, Alone Star