British indie rockers The Vaccines have shared the latest taste of their upcoming fifth LP Back in Love City with the brand new single ‘El Paso’.
I’m a little sad to report that this is not a cover of Marty Robbin’s classic cowboy tune of the same name. There are no gunfights, no Felina’s whirling, and no escapes to the badlands of New Mexico before being gunned down (spoiler alert for a 60-year-old song, by the way). The Vaccines give a shout out to the heartland, but their take on escape has more to do with the pressures of modern life rather than a conscious callback to the wild west.
The song itself straddles the line between rock and indie pop, with a special emphasis on pop. Everything from the acoustic guitar intro to the processed percussion that combines bass drum thumps with light hand claps feels highly processed. Everything is on point, but it’s a little too polished for its own good. Still, I can’t be mad at a song that rhymes “good news junkies” with “play that shit funky.” That’s just good songwriting.
According to lead singer Justin Young, the origin of ‘El Paso’ is basically the same as a romantic comedy or a cheesy buddy film. “I literally swapped lives with a stranger,” Young explains. “I lived in his house and drove his car while he lived in mine, but we’d never met and had no previous connections.” I got flashes of Cameron Diaz just typing that.
Overall, the song is light and catchy, nothing to set the world on fire but a fine preview of the forthcoming album. All of the band’s previous singles this year, from ‘Alone Star‘ to ‘Headphone Baby’, have all been like this, and point to another enjoyable, fun, and easy to like album on the horizon.
Check out the audio for ‘El Paso’ down below. Back in Love City drops on September 10.