Vanden Dool is a Canadian based artist with something different to say. Depicting a musical notion of combining 80s new wave and 90s electronica, he has had a string of releases including his debut album back in 2019, perfectly exemplifying his craft and relentless need to unleash his unusual and stunning blend of genres and sounds together.
What sets this artist apart is his clever use of modern and enhanced production elements, focussing heavily on percussive qualities in particular, bringing a whole new realm of sound which appeals to lovers of all things vintage 80s new wave and modern day synth pop. His debut album showed that he had fans far and wide, with the self-titled debut climbing to Earshot’s National Top 10 Electronic charts, as well as much other national acclaim.
Now, Vanden Dool returns with a new release to begin the year that is 2022, and plenty has happened since his EP release in 2020 of course. ‘You Will Not Love Me Forever’ is a whirling pool of synths, melodical vocals and thasghind drums. Very much in the mould and vein of the 80s new wave sound aforementioned, Vanden Dool also brings his modern touch once more in this one, and it’s pounding rhythm will have you listening with intent.
As the chorus arrives, a ricocheting, reverse drum effect fills the air of the song alongside the emotive, hard-hitting and heartfelt lyricism by Dool. The result is another hugely potent track that will surely hit the hearts of many, in what is a very personal and introverted song, all about his worries that his fans will one day stop following him and investing in his music. But it is safe to say, if Vanden Dool keeps delivering with this type of material in years to come, they won’t be going anywhere soon.
Hey Vanden Dool! How does it feel to be releasing music again?
It’s always nice to get something new out there. I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get this single recorded and released because I needed studio space for the first time and due to COVID it took a while for the engineer to feel safe booking artists in again, so it came as a real relief when I could finally get in and finish it off.
How has the last 18 months or so been for you?
There’s definitely been a lot of frustrating things that went down over the past year and a half. Obviously the first few months were the worst because I wasn’t even considering playing live in front of people, which especially hurt since I released an EP in the middle of the pandemic and haven’t been able to properly tour it since. I even had an annual anti-Valentine’s Day-themed mini-tour cancelled due to Omicron that I intended to support the single with, so even recent months have been pretty unpredictable. But a lot of good happened as well: I started seeing shows again once I got vaccinated, which helped to make things feel a little more like old times.
I got to play shows with an electronic stage band for the first time, which is something I hope to do again someday. I started doing volunteer writing for Cups N Cakes Network on other Canadian artists’ releases, which gives me a better chance of finding exciting new releases and possibly making new connections. I started getting into standup comedy, which is something I never thought I would be very good at, let alone win in a contest against other amateur comics. I moved to a bigger city like I wanted to for a while, so I’m hoping for good things to come out of that once I’ve established myself here more.
Does the meaning behind ‘You Won’t Love Me Forever’ relate to the fact that we’ve had a bit of a shutdown over the past years?
The shutdown was definitely a factor in the themes of the song. In 2019 I released a self-titled debut album and managed to pull off a couple of tours in support of it, which my finances didn’t like but I thought was important to get my name out there. I was hoping I would be able to do the same for the View From Here EP in 2020, which obviously didn’t happen, and all my promotion had to be exclusively online through social media and blogs for months, which while not as expensive as touring still costs quite a bit and doesn’t have the satisfaction of new fans seeing you perform and buying merch straight from the table. So there was this feeling that the people who saw me play or streamed one of my releases were going to forget I existed and there was less I could do to prevent that than I could before.
But I think there was also a general anxiety I always had of my fans and followers being disloyal, some of which is because a lot of friends still haven’t seen me play because they were always busy or didn’t know I was playing, some of which is because of the cynical realization that some fellow artists only follow your social media so you’ll follow theirs, and some of which is just general insecurity. I think that’s something that every serious artist deals with, and I think comparing it lyrically with a doomed romance was a way to make those feelings seem more universal and relatable no matter who’s listening, because both situations have similar roots of negative thought processes.
You cite The National as a particular reference for this song, will this style continue with your future releases?
I do hope that I’ll have the opportunity to approach future releases the way I’ve done here where the electronics are less overt and a lot of real instruments are involved, but I can’t say for certain if I’ll be using the National as a specific reference point again. I’m sure there will be elements of Boxer or High Violet creeping into the writing or arrangement subconsciously as I enjoy a lot of tracks on each, but I think this was a very spontaneous case of inspiration where I just decided I was able to make something work that had a similar character to their “Bloodbuzz, Ohio”. I do expect to find myself becoming more and more inspired by non-electronic artists even if my own work remains synth-heavy though, so if not them I would almost certainly be drawing from artists of a similar feel.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
At the time of this writing I’ve started looking into booking shows again and finding some open mics that will let me use my unique solo setup. I’d also like to eventually get into the comedy scene here in Calgary once I’ve established myself somewhat as a local musician, since that’s something I want to continue pursuing as well even if just as a hobby. Most importantly though, I’m in the early stages of developing a sophomore album which I hope to have ready by the end of 2023. So I’ve got at least another year of having something for people to look forward to.