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Vagabonds Releases Reflective Year End Single “Colder Months”

Photo: Jaclyn Diane (she/they)

It’s the end of another year, a uniquely challenging one at that, and many of us are reflecting. One of my favorite songwriters and old friend, Luke Dean (he/him) of Vagabonds has been doing just that, but naturally in song form.

“Colder Months” is a stand alone single we’re honored to premiere today as a bookend for 2020. Dedicated to a specific loved one who passed away this summer from Parkinson’s Disease, the song is Dean’s literal loving goodbye and also his Christmas gift to the listener to help them process a year marked by immeasurable grief. About the music he says, it “is supposed to feel like sitting in a chapel at a loved one’s funeral and taking that deep breath that comes at the end of the memorial service when you realize it is time to move forward after remembering their life.”

This is the first Vagabonds song to not feature any guitars at all. Instead it is piano oriented, an instrument Dean taught himself to play during quarantine. To expand on this new territory he stretched further vocally than ever before, adding harmonies and falsettos. Frequent collaborator, Willem Mudde (they/them), joins him again on cello, however, all of their parts were recorded in their own home for COVID safety’s sake. The fact that none of the collaborators, including Jesse Cannon (of The Cure, Kevin Devine, The Menzingers production fame) who mastered the track were all remotely cutting and pasting the pieces together is a testament to both the solitude and passion you can feel throughout the piece.

Dean says that though it is sometimes scary creating art this vulnerable, he felt more compelled to do so than ever. That feeling of necessity found him starting and finishing “Colder Months” faster and more DIY than anything he’s done since 2017’s I Don’t Know What To Do Now. The growth of the production and songwriting is astounding in comparison.

Thank you Vagabonds for being a constant and for sharing something as beautiful and personal as “Colder Months” with the world. Stream it now on Spotify and Bandcamp and check out the full band EP Liminal Space, they put out earlier this year.

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