When VHS Collection sings about growing up, there’s a reason it’s so affecting. While the synth-rock outfit itself has only been around for two years, the three members have been playing music together in New York City since their adolescence. This means they’ve shared many of the same growing pains and experiences, resulting in a unique sense of camaraderie.
It’s no surprise that this idea would come to form in their music. Teaming up with producer Abe Seiferth (LCD Soundsystem, Yeasayer), the trio headed into the studio for a week and pulled 12 hour days to record their self-titled debut EP, out December 1st.
The first track off the album, “Lean”, feels simultaneously like a mission statement and retrospective for the band. Over anthemic synthesizer loops and arpeggios, the group reminisces about the fleetingness of youth. These plunky sounds capture the coming-of-age feeling of a John Hughes film while maintaining a distinct currentness in the production. Each time frontman James Bohannon howls, “Oh, you’re gonna lean on your friends,” it’s hard not to imagine the emotional freeze frame and the imaginary credits rolling across the screen.
“We wanted to write an anthem about childhood in the city and how much you rely on your friends as your coming up in the world,” Bohannon tells Consequence of Sound. “Your family is always there for you, but it’s your friends who are really forced to wade through the shit with you on a daily basis. The song contains tons of references to locations in the city, friends bands, childhood characters and more all strewn together in a celebratory chant which we call ‘the Renaissance of these days’.”