INTERVIEW: Vandebilt | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Breezing in like a modern day blend of pop meets dance floor bangers, it’s not too much of a stretch to think of Vandebilt’s debut LP, The House That Vandebilt, as existing somewhere in the space between Monaco’s bass-heavy pop/boy band vibe and the dancier and poppier moments of 90’s disco pop Sophie Ellis-Bextor does so well

Formed over a love of dance music, Vandebilt – the endeavour of Jordan Miller (songwriter/producer), Joe Collins (singer/songwriter), Jack Wade (drums/producer) and Dan Martin (guitar/songwriter) – The House That Vandebilt proves that the collective have clearly developed into an outfit with a love of pop melodies, funky grooves and toe-tapping electro pop. Poppy bangers like Dream In Colour and Baby sound like the type of feel good hits that were designed for the summer.   

Plaudits aside, and as strong as ‘the house’ sounds however, it was actually close to never being built in the first place; four years in the making, with a pandemic in the middle, things weren’t always smooth on the construction site. “Sometimes it felt like the timing was not right,” confirms Miller, “we’ve played these songs so much and recorded and recorded them over and over and sometimes in music it’s difficult to have patience.”   

Vandebilt felt like a brotherhood and last year we remembered the purpose of the project which is to make music with friends

Luckily it seems resilience might be easier to find than patience, and eventually a breakthrough was found. “We’ve learnt how to listen to ourselves and understand what we’re aiming for. Vandebilt felt like a brotherhood and last year we remembered the purpose of the project which is to make music with friends, and make music hopefully people can relate to. It’s a simple approach. Once we tapped into that we were fine and we’ve got our spark back. It feels great.”  

And it sounds great too.  Grounded in disguise of simple pop melodies, The House That Vandebilt contains a clinical understanding of how to create unique dance floor moments; take for example the gentle piano and Northern soul grooves of Real Groove or the Pet Shop Boys-style electro of Rather Be. This is clearly an outfit with a deep interest in studio techniques and production mastery. “Everything starts at our studio, Motorhouse in Sunderland,” confirms Miller, “which is based out of synth and guitar sounds. And after a few attempts we took it to Robert Whiteley who re-recorded a lot and then helped mix it. What we wanted was for the songs to match the live feeling when we play them, and we wanted the album to be an extension of our live shows.”   

Known for their euphoric live shows, Vandebilt are already working out where they can play to support the album’s release, yet they do so with a singular focus; to keep getting better. “We’ll be playing some shows in September and October to support the album. We’re not sure where yet but we’re planning on making an album show that really pushes us technically,” confirms Miller.   

Clearly not liking the easy life, it might have taken a while for Vandebilt to build their dream, but it’s worth the wait. 

Vandebilt release The House That Vandebilt on 5th August via streaming and digital download, with a physical release to follow later in the year.


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