Looking away from this song’s lyrical message for a moment reveals a beating heart of confident and grandiose songwriting, unashamedly huge and bombastic, characterful and colorful, and then looking back at the lyrical themes brings everything together beautifully to a natural conclusion. 

The Vanities are an electronic rock duo from Cardiff, Wales. They are currently riding a wave of acclaim and praise after a decade-long, self-imposed period of isolation. Their latest single features commentary on Europe’s latest war-tinged era, but their approach is devoid of any trend riding, or cheap quotes, opting instead to feature simple, soulful lyrics, heartfelt and impactful, on a backdrop that’s as severe and as grand as the topic at hand. Private Army features a gut-wrenching string arrangement that’s content with staying in the backdrop most of the time, but when the time comes for the strings to soar, soar they do, displaying a sublime emotive strength that gives the lyrical and harmonic melancholy an entirely new depth that punches hard, among solid, commandeering beats that provide a solid, essential backbone. The vocals sound crisp, with sudden climbs that reminded me of the 80s sounds of Scorpions and Europe.

Private Army shows exactly why The Vanities have been successful, and after a decade-long silence, they returned to the same success. A band whose lyrics are concise and stirring, whose vocals are crisp and dominating, and whose musical choices are efficient and effective. The Vanities are a solid find, and their latest song, Private Army, is simply gorgeous.