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“Pick-Up Full Of Pink Carnations” bubbles with joy of life. However, with ten songs in just over half an hour, packed with catchy melodies and pop class, they also explore the facets of what happens when real life lets us down, no matter what we tell the world via our Instagram -Tell stories.
The album deals with themes of loss and dealing with it, not necessarily in the form of grief, but rather as a form of understanding and growth, and not just in a romantic sense. It reflects lost dreams, reinforced by the departure of founding member and guitarist Freddie Cowan, who left the band to have more time for his family. Still, this change strengthened The Vaccines, not least because it was the first time they financed the recordings themselves, without a major label deal.
The title "Pick-Up Full Of Pink Carnations" comes from a misremembered lyric in Don McLean's "American Pie" that sparked thoughts in Justin Young. He says this iconic song is about disappointment with America and the American dream and the feeling that something has died. In some ways, he dealt with similar issues, especially when various relationships ended. These experiences planted the seeds for the album.
What's special about this new Vaccines album is that complex feelings like ambivalence, doubt, fear and maybe even shame are packaged into vibrant pop songs that bubble like a fizzy fountain. This makes it easier to feel less alone. That's why every track on "Pick-Up Full Of Pink Carnations" sounds like it could be a single. This is also due to how the band has always chosen their album tracks, namely through a vote by the band members on their favorite songs.
They were joined in the studio by producer Andrew Wells, who brought a very modern shine to the classic '60s-inspired guitar pop influenced by new wave. Fans will have the opportunity to experience this music live in January when The Vaccines finally hit the road again for the first time since 2018.