VHS Collection, a three-piece unsigned band based in New York, NY, consists of James Bohanon, Conor Cook, and Nils Vanderlip. These three friends started VHS Collection a couple years ago, posting tunes on Spotify and Soundcloud. After they found they had a lot of hits, they took their music live. Starting with house parties and eventually turning up clubs, lounges, and most recently summer festivals, they’ve had great success and fun, all the while releasing a debut EP, a single from which made it to Spotify’s Top Ten Viral Charts soon after being released.
VHS Collection Releases Stereo Hype
James’ vocals, Conor’s guitar, and Nils’ synths collaborate with perfectly chosen drum samples and stellar post-production in Stereo Hype, a 7-track EP released August 19.
The EP kicks off with Nils’ synths and “Ghost,” a groovy slap-bass synth and a great break before the final chorus. From the get-go I noticed that, for a band without a record label/outside producer that’s credited, the production is really polished. Great sample placements, clear, precise-but-not-too-precise drums, and a mix that lets all of the instruments shine and fill the EP.
“The Longest Drive,” the second track, starts with a nicely done vocal mix-up. Conor’s guitar shines in the verses with two clear, present, but not over-stated parts that play in stereo. In the longest track on the EP (5:30), “The Black,” James loses himself more than before: “Put the black in my heart / Put the black in my soul.” The break is all-surrounding, with a groovy electronic beat that transitions flawlessly back into the rest of the song.
My favorite track on the EP is “Waiting on the Summer.” It starts out with an intro that stirs excitement, mellow muted guitar in the preverse and verses, and a chorus that’s really fun to sing along to.
The next track on the EP, “Stranger,” has a more overdriven guitar in the intro that has low-medium presence — less than I’d expect. I don’t know who produced the drums on this EP, but they did a great job, especially with the disco off-beat cymbal that keeps the chorus of this song alive. James goes to the deeper parts of his voice range here — with the reverb, I’d compare the sound to Simple Minds.
After “Stranger” ends, the beat in “Floating” immediately kicks in. This song’s chord choice is a bit more adventurous than the other songs. If anything I wish that the verses’ synths were more present.
The last track is the original version of “The Longest Drive,” almost a minute shorter than the “new” version. It loses the intro and one of the verses’ two guitar parts. The break is shorter and easier to lose yourself in.
All in all, I’m happy to have found VHS Collection and Stereo Hype, a great representation of what they’re capable of.