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VHS Collection Releases New Track 'The Dark'

Created at the dawn of the pandemic, the band wrote "The Dark" just as the world was going into lockdowns.

Today VHS Collection have shared new single "The Dark" via Tiger Tone Records / [PIAS] and its accompanying visualizer."The Dark" seamlessly fuses analog synths, searing guitar hooks and an anthemic chorus, true to the band's retro-modern aesthetic while also teasing the more serious tone of the band's upcoming album. Listen and watch below!

"The Dark is a song about hiding out when the outside world is falling apart," the band explain. "It was written on Friday, March 13th, 2020, just as we were entering lockdowns. We set out to write a song that felt cinematic and ominous, inspired by the movie 'Drive.' We never intended to write about current events, but the lyrics indicate what was floating around our heads that day: 'We can watch from your bedroom window, We can watch all night, When the dark comes to take control, We can be the light'."

"The Dark" begins with a gritty, MS-20 synth bass line that hearkens Daft Punk's Homework era. The song propels the listener forward to a sublime, synth-shimmering chorus which feels akin to the widescreen hugeness of M83 or The Killers. In its totality, the song offers catharsis and hope amidst fraught times by taking the listener on a journey through darkness to light. VHS Collection connect their inspired message with a tonality that holds a shadow of nuance; it begs for a wanderlust, speaker-blasting night drive.

Created at the dawn of the pandemic, the band wrote "The Dark" just as the world was going into lockdowns. The same night of the writing session singer James Bohannon boarded a flight home to New York to narrowly avoid the soon-widespread travel restrictions. The band had plans to complete their album in April and had a full national tour booked for fall of 2020. Suddenly, they found themselves spread across different cities in isolation and confronted with a whole new array of challenges to completing their album and running their business.

The band comment: "We had been writing songs for about a year when the pandemic hit. As we came to terms with pandemic, we cancelled our tour and started working on the songs remotely. We'd record vocal bits, guitar parts, and synth parts independently and then email them around and put the songs together. A lot of artists work this way, but we hated it. A VHS song is the result of a thousand little decisions made by the group. When everyone is not in the same room, you get a very different result. The feedback loop takes much longer, people are unable to be direct about how they feel the song is progressing. There is less room for collaboration and experimentation."

After six months they had two songs completed and decided they needed to return to the studio together. They reunited in October, working with producer and Tiger Tone founder Tony Hoffer (M83, Phoenix, The Kooks) in his studio. They quarantined for weeks in LA before the sessions, received Covid tests twice weekly and partook in no social activity outside of recording in order to work safely.

Hailing from New York City, VHS Collection are revered for their signature alt-rock and electro sound. The three core members have played music together for most of their lives, James Bohannon and Conor Cook having attended middle school together in New York City, while James went to high school with Nils Vanderlip where they started their first band.

Since their inception, VHS Collection has built a loyal following by being 100% independent, with no record label, management or experience in the music industry. Their songs have reached over 100 million streams on Spotify and they've played major festivals including Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and Governor's Ball. They also sold 10,000 tickets on their last headline tour, with sold-out shows across the country including a sold-out final show at NYC's Irving Plaza.

The band say: "We were always an independent band. We did not have a label or a manager or even much of a long-term plan. When we started, we just enjoyed playing shows for our friends in New York and enjoyed recording as a hobby while we worked other full-time jobs. As we started to become established, we became obsessed with the game of conquering the next goal in front of us: the next venue, the next single, the next festival. There are a lot of ups and downs in this game but when you get to meet fans and they tell you how your music impacted their life, you keep going."

This 'hobby' gained momentum time and time again. From climbing the ladder of the nation's rock clubs, to repeated singles on the Spotify Viral Charts, to being sought after to perform at the world's biggest festivals, they manifested the idea that with hard work and innate skill, an unassuming group of music-loving friends could ride the tedious waves of the music industry on their own accord, and succeed.

Influenced by the likes of preeminent greats such as Phoenix, The Killers, Daft Punk, M83 and The Strokes, there is an emphasis on highlighting analog synths in combination with electric guitar, live bass and live drums alongside programmed elements. While many songs may start on a laptop in a remote cabin in the woods during a weeklong writing retreat, or you know, isolated during Covid lockdown, the band always brings these ideas into a proper studio to breathe them to life. There is a focus on creating something that feels modern but is rooted in traditional recording practices.

The band are planning a big return in 2021 with eventually a new LP and a national tour in the works. With such a strong indication of what the forthcoming music has in store, VHS Collection have proven in their own words that, despite a burdensome year, they can be the light.

Tiger Tone Records was welcomed into the [PIAS] family in late 2020 and puts them among the company of revered indie labels such as Transgressive, Heavenly Recordings and Mute. Tony Hoffer is celebrated for an illustrious career spanning decades working with distinguished artists such as M83, Phoenix, Beck, The Kooks, The Snuts (currently celebrating a #1 album in the UK) and many more.

Purchase or stream "The Dark" HERE.


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