Vandal of Hearts is a one-man kind of project created by the multi-talented James St. Thomas who performs, composes, and records his music. He released his debut album earlier this year and it’s such a promising start for the up-and-coming musician. Thomas is influenced by amazing musicians and bands with strong guitar skills and authentic sound like The White Stripes, Joy Division, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Roxy Music, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fugazi, Sonic Youth, The Smiths, and The Velvet Underground.
The artist released “Blissy” as his first single as an introduction to his album which has been instantly recognized and was added to the soundtrack of the “First Kill” series streaming currently on Netflix. In a short period, he already has 2.7K monthly listeners on Spotify with “Blissy” being featured on a few playlists.
The idea of “Bad Dream” emerged when the artist observed the lockdown and pandemic rules implemented by the UK government then. He uses the word “Schizophrenic” to describe it as he saw how they were contradicting one another which made no sense to him, for instance, how it was illegal to visit someone at their home, yet you can meet them in a coffee shop. He saw how some rules and measures were taken without considering their consequences. The artist’s perception of the situation is intriguing and philosophically curated as he explains further: “What this brought into focus was the idea that the reality of the many, was simply a product of a few people’s fantasies. Reality had started to feel like an inescapable bad dream.” So in “Bad Dream”, he found his escape. The album was recorded in 3 days only at Chamber Studio in the North of Edinburgh, which is unusual and exceptional.
What I promise you is a very well-executed musical context and intriguing guitar lines and riffs. Throughout the 7-track album, you will fall in love with its guitar tunes, how well the instrumental lines and curated, and how it’s all very harmonious. There’s no specific mood to expect or a journey that you will experience but a sound that is so catchy that any music lover would appreciate; between the interesting bass line in “The Hanged Man” or the familiarity with a twist of the riffs in “Death by a Thousand Cuts” or even the unexpectedly thrown in French accent and words in “The Miasma of Misogyny Consoles Falsely” with its groovy drumline. But the one I couldn’t help but repeat several times was “Blissy” which is a celebration and contribution to music altogether. An appreciation of the importance of music and its unmeasurable effect on humanity.