Inside Every Fig there is a Dead Wasp album by Lunar Vacation album review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions

Keeled Scales

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Lunar Vacation

Inside Every Fig is a Dead Wasp

Atlanta, Georgia band Lunar Vacation are a dream pop outfit, whose music emphasizes on nostalgia and melancholy, in the vein of Snail Mail. The group have been playing together since they met in the Arts program at high school. With two eps released in 2017 and 2018, Their latest venture, their debut full length album, Inside Every Fig is a Dead Wasp released on record label Keeled Scales out of Austin, Texas, keeps the same formula—dreamy guitars, adventurous melodies, and sad/reflective lyrics—but benefits from the full album treatment.

Singer Grace Repasky says about her songwriting, “I feel like most—if not all—of my songs are future-me giving past-me advice and insight on specific situations that evoked heavy feelings.” This album is a look back at relationships that didn’t work, cycles of overthinking, the shadows of places she’s lived in and traveled to. She has a keen sense for the things that trigger sadness and contemplation in her and the complexity of human relationships.

“Good or bad, it’s hard to say / Paint my walls a shade of grey / Playing safe,” she sings on the conflicted, “Shrug.” She says it’s a song about her predictable internal monologue, but by the end she’s changed her tune: “I figured out I don’t like grey.” This album, while it shares themes and shades, as sad as it can be, is not a grey record. It might be more of a vibrant purple, like a fig, like the opening number, “Purple Dreams no. 4.”

While there seems to be a sort of formula to their music, there is a great deal of variation from song to song, and Grace’s sense for melody is beautifully assorted from track to track and the instrumentation is wonderful. “There’s so much I want to tell you, but not right now,” she sings on “Making Lunch (Not Right Now),” and it feels like throughout the record she is only hinting at the depth of experience she feels as a woman in her early twenties. It is all impressions, important memories, single lines of wisdom she’d give herself or her listeners.

But after 11 tracks, it adds up to a rich picture of a life both contemplative and admirably active for a young person. “Open the doors to let the light in.” Like the title of the record suggests, for everything that grows, something dies. It is in the honest reflection upon her past life that Grace is able to become who she wants to be. The album ends with the line, “I feel like I am truly ready to face it all / On my own,” and we, her listeners, are witnesses to the growth and maturity that happens throughout the album. You can’t necessarily accomplish that kind of narrative force in an EP and it’s a good move, for this growing band to put together a full album. It is remarkably compelling, as songs and as stories, from start to finish.

Order Inside Every Fig is a Dead Wasp by Lunar Vacation HERE