Daydream Vacation: My Kind of Vacation

I’m not generally a fan of vacations… in any general, contemporary use of the term.  I hate the beach, I hate celebrations, and I hate leaving Center City Philadelphia (or, even my apartment, for that matter.)  But Daydream Vacation has proven to be an exception.  Daydream Vacation are Dave Einmo of Head Like A Kite and Asya of Smoosh.  Dave plays the role of beatmaker and producer, while Asya takes the role of vocalist (but she’s far from just a contributing performer of the band).  I recently got a chance to chat with Asya about the project, which is actually not the first collaboration between the two: “We never really had enough time with previous collaborations and we wanted to try more songs when I was contributing to the songwriting process. I hadn’t collaborated with someone for a whole album before, so I was really excited.”  She even tells me that Daydream Vacation allowed her to try doing certain kinds of electronic music that she’d wanted to do.  Daydream Vacation put out their debut album, Dare Seize the Fire, on June 19th. 

The roots of Daydream Vacation stem back to 2006, when the two first recorded a tune together for HLAK… a tune entitled “Daydream Vacation.”  The two have been collaborating semi-regularly ever since… but this is their first truly equal collaboration.  Dare Seize the Fire was recorded in both Sweden (Asya’s locale) and Seattle (Dave’s locale).  The two collaborated via Skype throughout the spring of 2011 and eventually Asya trekked to Seattle and the two recorded the finished product in Dave’s home studio.  “It was kind of an awesome experience,” Asya tells me:  We didn’t really talk about how we’d do it.  We just met up and did it and it worked out well.  We tried to record the whole album that way.”
In Head Like a Kite Dave plays the role of producer/DJ, slicing and sampling his own live playing for a genre-bending kind of electronic music as indebted to prog as it is to mainstream pop and hip-hop and Smoosh had Asya projecting a brand of indie pop owing itself as much to a post-riot grrrl electro-pop aesthetic as to the best singer/songstresses of the mid-90s alt rock scene.  As their name would imply, Daydream Vacation boasts the sound of a postmodern celebratory trip… possible to somewhere beyond this galaxy.  The duo actually used live instrumentation… which they proceeded to cut up and sample, so the album boasts a blend of the synthetic and the organic, with a balance that makes it club-ready, but also suitable for scenic drives and bedroom dance parties: “I think it’s probably pretty different from our other projects.  Our other projects were pretty different kinds of bands. So it was like combining the two, but everyone’s reactions have been really great thus far.”  Asya tells me that she liked the juxtaposition of the two different styles of musicianship and wouldn’t have had it any other way: “You have to not really know what you’re getting into.  I wouldn’t want to work with someone a lot like me.”