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VHS Collection is a rock band from New York City that has gained a reputation for high energy live performances and a unique blend of rock, electronic, and disco influences. VHS’s sound featured danceable beats, heavy guitar riffs and synth lines, and dark lyrical narratives.
In the last year, VHS Collection has seen festival performances at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and Okeechobee, in addition to sold out club dates on both coasts. The band has released two EP’s independently which have been streamed over 10 million times, including two songs on the Spotify Viral Charts. VHS looks forward to releasing it’s first LP late this summer.
“Wide Awake” was the first single off VHS Collection’s first full-length record. Produced by Chris Zane (Passion Pit, St. Lucia), “Wide Awake” is what the band calls “Dark Disco Rock.” The track signals a refined direction for the band in its energy, lyrical themes, and sound choices. Many of the signature themes and sounds from previous releases show up here including: New York City, desperation, arpeggiated synths and danceable basslines; but this track goes deeper with a massive guitar hook, pumped up energy, and darker lyrical themes.
VHS Collection got their start in the winter of 2014 but the three members, James Bohannon, Conor Cook, and Nils Vanderlip have been playing music in one form or another together since they were kids. Conor and James grew up across the street from each other in NYC and attended the same grade school where they began jamming on acoustic guitars; Nils and James met in high school, where they started their first band together and recorded an album.
Years later, with all three members back in NYC, VHS pulled together a collection of electronic leaning rock-influenced bedroom recordings and posted them on Soundcloud. Encouraged by the volume of hits the tracks received, VHS began performing a live set at friends’ parties and around NYC’s small clubs. 2015 saw multiple sold out nights for VHS at the Lower East Side’s indie-rock launching pad, the Mercury Lounge. A year later, the band rocked a sold out Bowery Ballroom and continued showing up on more Festival bills.
VHS has created a writing process which is unique and serves them well. It starts primarily with each member individually writing and producing dozens of bits and pieces of songs on their laptops. The band spends months working on these initial song ideas virtually, sending each other files and collaborating via Dropbox. Every few months, the band heads to a cabin in upstate New York where they lock themselves in for 7 days at a time to complete the songs during intense writing sessions. During these sessions, the three members collaborate on every element of the song, with each member playing various instruments on the tracks. The band then weeds out the best of these home produced tracks to bring into the studio.