Album Review: Inside Every Fig is a Dead Wasp // Lunar Vacation

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Following years of catchy singles and impressive EPs, Lunar Vacation’s debut albumInside Every Fig is a Dead Wasp demonstrates the band’s unique style perfectly.Consisting of high school friends Grace Repasky, Maggie Geeslin, Matteo DeLurgio and Connor Dowd, the band captures their youthful spirit in upbeat music guaranteed to satisfy any listener. 

Lunar Vacation’s 2017 and 2018 EPs, Swell and Artificial Flavours, established the band as the new generation of indie music. Songs like ‘The Basement’ and ‘Blue Honey’ were amongst many to demonstrate the band’s innate ability to combine upbeat guitar riffs with serene vocals. Clearly influenced by 2010s indie pop, including the work of Two Door Cinema Club and Mac DeMarco, the band has used Inside Every Fig is a Dead Wasp to assertively pave the way in their ongoing process of musical self-discovery. 

I was first introduced to Lunar Vacation’s music back in 2018, as I inevitably entered a Spotify rabbit hole. Since then, their music has developed to incorporate broader themes about coming-of-age, friendship and the struggles inherent in adolescence. Initially released as singles, two of the most impressive songs from the album include ‘Mold’ and ‘Shrug’. 

‘Shrug’ encapsulates a nervous internal monologue and was the first song the band produced in a proper studio; their previous EPs were created with basic technology from their Atlanta high school. Repasky has described Inside Every Fig is a Dead Wasp as “probably the most honest stuff we’ve written in terms of lyrics” and this is particularly evident in ‘Shrug’.

Lyrics like “Good or bad, it’s hard to say / Paint my walls a shade of grey” and “This isn’t how I wanna breathe” capture the sense of anxiety and uncertainty often inevitable with growing up. ‘Mold’, as the title suggests, also successfully contends with these themes, further discussing the fluidity of identity and the liminal state of indecisiveness. 

However, instead of beginning with hit singles like ‘Shrug’ or ‘Mold’, the album starts with a minute of instrumental musings in ‘Purple Dreams no. 4’. The track seamlessly flows into ‘Peddler’, where we are introduced to Repasky’s vocals through the charmingly mundane line “It’s cold in Kentucky.” As their band name would suggest, Lunar Vacation has mastered the art of embodying surrealist simplicity. Their songs discuss everyday teenage experiences all whilst accompanied by DeLurgio’s dreamy synth and Repasky’s voice. 

Other standouts from the album include ‘Where is Everyone?’, ‘Gears’ and ‘Making Lunch (Not Right Now)’. The latter starts with a simple plucking guitar, making it reminiscent of a childhood lullaby. Repasky’s voice lilts along, perfectly harmonising with Geeslin. The lyrics capture the beauty of simplicity: “There’s a spider on the staircase / There’s a spider and I need to let it out.”  

‘But Maybe’ captures the melancholy quality of Repasky’s vocals, demonstrating how raw emotion is sometimes more powerful than musical technique. Drifting on from the lo-fi feel of penultimate song ‘Anemone’, the song ends this practically flawless debut album, winding down the adolescent emotional turbulence we have experienced over the past thirty minutes. “I feel like I’m truly ready to face it all on my own” seems a fitting line to close Inside Every Fig is a Dead Wasp as Lunar Vacation contend with the future of their musical identity. 

Words by Charlotte Grimwade

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