Coming in just shy of a year since the release of his debut EP, 17-year-old Vaughn Prangley just dropped his first full length album and Destination Unknown is every bit a visceral growing up and coming to terms with the unpredictability of life as might be expected. As the title suggests, it’s an indie-pop-rock ode to not knowing where we’re going.
You’d never guess the album came from the mind of a kid verging on the tail-end of his adolescence. The lyrics are knife-sharp, the melodies clean-cut, and the production seamless. The latter is largely due to the efforts of his producer and collaborator Howie Combrink, who also features on closer “Beside You”, which wraps things up with emotive finality. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Chiming acoustics which abound into anthemic choruses are Prangley’s game and he exhibits back-to-back versions of this design with impressive finesse. Opener “Rise and Fall” loops back and forth between fine-tuned simplicity and rousing mid points, “Avalanche to the Sea” carries an unshakable banjo-plucked singalong quality, while “Passing Seconds” is a pop-rock urge not to trip up.
Driving drums and slickly balanced production delivers “Borders”’ darker tones, the nostalgic vibrancy of “Road Trip”, and the acoustic love song which is “Alluring Avenues” which wraps up on a perplexingly Christmassy break.
And while the album might err only on the basis on lengthliness and perhaps a rather too formulaic approach to songwriting, Prangley delivers a punchy, captivating ode to growing up and the realities that hit home as you go.
Feature pic supplied by artist