On a cool April night, the band members of VCR — Chase Clark, Emma Hurt and Tyler Howard — climb into Clark’s 1994 Buick Regal Sport. This ride has a purpose.
The Eugene group has just finished recording its first album Season One! and wants to experience it on the open road. As the first track, “Feelin Alright” buzzes warmly through the speakers, the album’s summer inspiration is already clear. Despite the chilly Oregon breeze and the dark, maroon interior of the car, it’s easy to be quickly transported to a sunnier time, one defined by Clark’s crunchy guitar, Hurt’s melodic bass and Howard’s aggressive drums.
For its debut release, the trio could not have chosen a more appropriate theme. VCR formed in summer 2013 and has played shows in Eugene and around the Pacific Northwest before finally deciding to record an album this year.
VCR isn’t a group prone to honing in on a singular sound; Clark admits they never play a song the same way twice. The band’s flexibility holds true on Season One! which ranges in sound from ‘60s sunshine pop to punky low-fi. But overall, VCR says they wanted to create an album that simply “feels good.”
“Everyone goes through summer,” said Howard. “Everyone has thoughts they associate, emotions they associate with summer. It’s just a good common place to make noise and sing about.”
Ever fixated on the antiquated technology, VCR’s new album was released as a cassette last Friday, Aug. 12 through Eugene’s House of Records, Skip’s Records, CD World and on VCR’s Bandcamp. As for VCR’s future plans, the band is already working on its next studio album, “Season Two!” which will explore the season of fall and embrace darker themes.
This story was produced by Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Emerald podcast editor Franziska Monahan.