With smash-hit Netflix show Stranger Things reinvigorating a passion for 80s music, fashion and culture Sydney band Vast Hill are sweeping the scene at precisely the right time.
Ahead of the release of their debut album, More Than You Imagined, we sat down with one half of the duo, Adin Milo, to speak about the band's formation, their inspirations, and the influence of Stranger Things on their popularity.
Vast Hill came together after Milo and bandmate Elle Kress met during their time at the Australian Institute of Music. After being tasked with working together on various projects throughout the course of their studies the pair came to realise that they had very similar interests in music. Given this realisation, the duo decided it would be a good idea to work on music together as they drew influences from many different overlapping areas.
Milo told J.A.M one particular moment stood out in his mind as a definitive source of inspiration for Vast Hill, “Elle and I were watching Drive starring Ryan Gossling and both loved the music by Electric Youth in the movie, so they were a big modern inspiration.” Since then the band have found inspiration from "Empire Of The Sun for their more modern, electric take on 80s sounding music” and are now even venturing back to classic 80s music.
“Now we’re starting to listen to the classic bands from the 80s such as David Bowie, Hall & Oates and INXS,” explained Milo, “There are a heap of songs from the 80s that are so good but it’s hard to find artists who were doing continuous quality work.”
This very single heavy, ‘one-hit-wonder’ circumstance is something which Milo says Vast Hill are “petrified of” of repeating today.
“Already people are seemingly in love with Heartbreaker more than anything else at the moment. So we run the risk of writing versions of Heartbreaker 50 different times in our career, which is something we don’t want because we want to evolve.”
As Milo was careful to explain, this evolutionary process has already begun on the upcoming album.
“There are some songs on the album which have the Oblivion tinge to them and some that are more in line with Heartbreaker. We’ve tried to formulate it like a proper album, it goes up and down rather than just on one level.”
This process was also heightened by working with producer/mixer Luke Million explained Milo, “Luke is the King Midas of mixes, everything he touches turns to gold. We were so thankful that we were able to get him on the project because he’s worth a million buck, excuse the pun.”
When asked how he feels Stranger Things has impacted Vast Hill Milo said, “I think that is a good thing because as more people watch the show the 80s aesthetic becomes familiar to them and doesn’t seem so niche or nostalgia-driven only. So then when they discover our music they realise that there is an influence on our music, we’re not simply recreating the 80s.”
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