Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Brett Nash breaks down Vanity Plates' new EP, Cerebral Winter Comedies

We Are All, in Fact, Terrible

Posted by Kelly Rae Smith on Wed, Aug 1, 2018 at 12:16 PM

click to enlarge Vanity Plates are set to perform at Raleigh’s Hopscotch Festival in September - MICHAEL COLLIER
  • Michael Collier
  • Vanity Plates are set to perform at Raleigh’s Hopscotch Festival in September

Like a snowstorm in July, Vanity Plates' new EP Cerebral Winter Comedies dropped from the sky by surprise recently to warm your little hearts. Recorded and mixed earlier this year by Bo White, Cerebral Winter Comedies came from (the heavens, presumably, as well as) the brains of Vanity Plates' Brett Nash and Thomas Berkau, former member Andrei Mihailovic (Jesse Kieve has taken over now), and producer White and dropped via Bandcamp on Sun. July 22. Here's the track-by-track breakdown comin' at ya from Nash himself:


The existence of both good and evil in all things. Cable networks such as FX are known for giving a lot of creative freedom to show creators and nurturing their work, but let us not forget even they are a branch of parent company of Fox, whom Fox News is also a branch of.

Urban Dictionary’s third definition of “gloin” is “an online messaging slang word used to replace 'lol' and ‘ahaha,' which may have lost their original meaning and now acts as a light form of expression of being humored as well as presenting attentiveness.” 222 is a reference to triple numerology. 222s have been popping up for me everywhere and providing guidance.

Approximately 50 percent of our songs are inspired and named after Vanity Plates that exist in the present world. This is the only song on this album that falls into that category, found on a British license plate on a black BMW. The ending, while mentioning how we all are terrible people, hopes to free the listener, reminding that no one is truly superior to anyone else, because we are all, in fact, terrible.

I personally can’t speak for the lyrical content here, as all lyrics were written and performed by the inimitable orator Kelly Williams of Charlotte juggernauts TKO Faith Healer (of which Cerebral Winter Comedies producer Bo White is also a member of), but the title that I imposed upon this closing movement signifies a prologue to the next album, which we hope will pick up right where this song left off.


Ultimately inspired by through-composed music, a tradition made famous by the likes of Schubert, Haydn, and Captain Beefheart. The one twist is a short return to the original theme mid-song, but then off to another section not originally heard earlier in the song. This section serves as both an outro and a chorus. Saving the chorus until the end on this song was an experimentation of tension and release in music.

This song is an attempt to give music that may be considered slightly dissonant and angular a subtly poppy melody and a rhythmic feel that is easy to dance to, hopefully melding the art world and pop world into one united embodiment of collectivism while still holding true to a substantial amount of individualistic autonomy within the melodies themselves.

A lot of the best art is made by playing to preset rules and restrictions that, in a way, free you. The first 75 percent of the song is our use of this exercise. The bass repeats an ostinato for the first three minutes that provides a foundation for the guitar, drums, and vocals to build upon and interpret however they like. The final section of this song is the culmination of this build up, providing an anthemic release to support the freedom the lyrics promote.

This music is meant to support and set the tone for the lyrical content provided by Kelly. The chordal changes that happen in between the atmospheric passages in Bb were written in an exquisite corpse style. We went around in a circle twice and each named a chord, resulting in the progression you hear in the song: B, E, F#, C#, D#, F.

To listen, press play above or head here


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