Some Vows can never be broken.
You’ve heard plenty from guitarist/singer Luke Sweeney lately, but his once-and-future-band Vows have been silent for the better part of the past two years. But now Sweeney has reunited with bassist Jitsun Sandoval and drummer Scott Noda, and Vows is poised to make a comeback, of sorts, with a big Valentine’s Day show and a new album, which The Bay Bridged is pleased to share your first taste of.
Without further ado, here is an exclusive premiere of “Bohemian Baby,” the first single from new Vows album Mirages:
Mirages was actually recorded in December of 2008 at Different Fur Studios over the course of 72 hours. “Vows exited with their equipment in tact, but their sanity not so much,” according to the band. That assertion is perhaps amply evidenced by the fact that Mirages is available in a heart-shaped box of chocolates.
If you dig it, what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than taking your sweetie to see a band called Vows? They make their triumphant return to the stage at Bottom of the Hill on February 14, playing with Zodiac Death Vally and The Missing Pieces.
We spoke with Luke Sweeney about the return of Vows, what the future holds for the band, and what this means for his solo work.
The Bay Bridged: Why a Vows reunion now? Why’d y’all break up in the first place?
Luke Sweeney: Vows have probably been more broken up than most bands who announce such a thing, but there’s never been a Vows breakup… just a lot of broken time in between shows and recordings. We’ve been living different lives in separate spaces, with Scott & Jitsun now in LA, but we’ve been able to sync up for the right occasion. Valentine’s Day in San Francisco 2015 is as good as any excuse to get together, release a record we made, and plant seeds for romance.
TBB: Your solo stuff still your focus?
LS: My solo work continues with a life of its own, and I’m lucky to have some really good people around me for that. We’ll be on the road a lot over the next month or so, and recording new songs this spring. Meanwhile, I’m working with a small local label to release a bunch of material from back catalogues. Vows’ ‘Mirages’ is one of six such releases that will surface this year, all in different and unique formats. The ‘Mirages’ LP will be available in chocolate, for example. Something new (and old) will come out every other month in 2015.
TBB: Is Vows back for good or a one-off reunion?
LS: We never fully left, but whenever somebody like our friend Mark Joseph (of The Missing Pieces) asks us to play, we try to answer the call.
TBB: What’s “Bohemian Baby” all about?
LS: It’s a centerpiece of the album, appropriately, because it harks to a heyday when bohemians ran free in San Francisco. If ‘Bohemian Baby’ was a real woman, she’s gone from this city now. Likely she was evicted and some tech startup is sipping coffee where she used to stitch jewelry. But she’s somewhere, and Jitsun’s got a song for her! Like most songs from this era of Vows, we put this one together pretty quickly. Musically, it’s a good centerpiece as well because it’s soulful and features a lot of the instrumentation that is unique to ‘Mirages’ the album: harp, rhodes piano, marimbas…
TBB: Tell us about album release show. And do y’all have tour plans?
LS: Vows have always been helpless romantics, so we’re happy to be premiering the ‘Mirages’ album this Saturday night, on Valentine’s Day. It was recorded here in San Francisco, spent two years on tape reels sitting on a shelf, then made it into another studio only to spend another couple years waiting for an official release. We’re thrilled to be back at Bottom of the Hill with our friends in The Missing Pieces and Zodiac Death Valley, with whom we played many shows back in the day. Who knows what the future holds after that? Vows have two full albums of material that has yet to surface. Whether or not it ever will remains to be determined.
Zodiac Death Valley, The Missing Pieces, Vows
Bottom of the Hill
February 14, 2015
9:30pm, $10–12 (21+)