VACATIONS' social media-led growth in international popularity has been thrilling to follow over the past five years.
The Newcastle indie band command more than 850,000 monthly listeners, which puts them in Courtney Barnett and Gang Of Youths' ballpark and ions away from their Australian indie contemporaries.
It's all been the result of a loyal fan base built on playlist exposure and the influence of TikTok.
Gladly Vacations' growth in popularity has been matched by their musical development. The EPs Days (2016) and Vibes (2016) were charming introductions to their dreamy and nostalgic blend of bedroom indie.
Debut album Changes (2018) then built on those foundations, without pushing the boundaries. Album No.2 Forever In Bloom thrusts Vacations from their DIY beginnings into a world of grander expression.
The album was largely influenced by the quartet's maiden tour to Europe and the excitement of those intoxicating sites and sounds are at the forefront.
With Holy Holy's Oscar Dawson (Alex Lahey, Ali Barter) in the producer's chair, Forever In Bloom sees Vacations introduce elements of modern pop and R'n'B to their '80s-inspired shoegaze sound.
Seasons is stunning, led by a sparkling duel of guitar and synths. Frontman Campbell Burns produces his best vocal performance as he pleads the listener to, "Don't blink for a second, or you just might miss this."
Celebrating the moment is a constant theme. On Actors Burns describes the experience of sharing a festival bill in Bangkok with his childhood idols Slowdive when he sings, "It's so strange to even be here/ To be anything at all."
The showstopper, however, is Panache. It begins as the best Killers song Brandon Flowers hasn't sung, before morphing into a dark electronic pop trance featuring vocals from Sarah Sykes and Newcastle's Craterface.
Vacations have been shamefully underappreciated by triple j and other indie taste-masters in Australia for too long. Forever In Bloom fulfills the potential they've long promised.