An indie-rock trio hailing from Edinburgh, Vistas deliver an uplifting collection of season-appropriate tracks on their debut record, Everything Changes in the End.
Scotland has proven to be a hot-bed for indie talent in recent years. Up and coming bands such as The Snuts, Retro Video Club and Swim School are all showing great potential to make it big in the indie scene. But perhaps the most exciting of these Scottish prospects is Vistas, a 3-piece from Edinburgh that are making a name for themselves with their upbeat, energetic, sing-along bangers. Inspired by fellow Scots The View, Vistas have brought so much joy into their fans’ lives with songs such as Sign Language, Headspace and Strong Swimmer, and their debut album does not disappoint.
Having released the vast majority of their previous songs as singles, with only one EP, it was interesting to see how Vistas would tackle the structuring of an album. This was done expertly, with the album flowing smoothly from one song to the next; the seamless transition from the 50-second intro to Everything Changes in the End is a great example of this. Vistas must have been tempted to include hit-single Calm, but they were right to leave it out, as it just didn’t fit the vibe of the album. The 3 school friends focused this project on the transition from their late teenage years to ‘real’ adulthood, and the importance of supporting your friends through this transition. Written over 2 years, it is impressive that these key themes were maintained across this time.
The album contains the perfect anthem for these uncertain times; every time lead singer Prentice Robertson belts out the chorus ‘Hold on, my friend, everything changes in the end’, you believe him more and more. Everything Changes in the End is an instant classic Vistas song, with a rapid guitar riff, Robertson’s Scottish accent coming through on the vocals, and a stripped-back build up to the final chorus that you can already imagine the fans singing back to them at live shows.
'The 3 school friends focused this project on the transition from their late teenage years to ‘real’ adulthood, and the importance of supporting your friends through this transition'.
Vistas have built up an impressive back catalogue prior to releasing their first album, and 7 of these songs have made it onto Everything Changes in the End. Fan-favourite Retrospect’s fast pace and build-up to an uplifting chorus will have you following Robertson’s orders to ‘Throw your arms to the skies … [in] happiness in retrospect’. Re-recording Retrospect for this album was a nice touch, giving the song a more rock feel. Recently released single Summer is the seasonal anthem that its name suggests, even if the chorus is a little simplistic. Written 6 years ago in their last year of high school, it featured in some of their early gigs but then disappeared from the set list. Perhaps recording half of the album in the seaside town of Ramsgate inspired them to resurrect this song, ready-made for the beaches.
November, the final song of the album, provides a glimpse into the possible future direction of the band. Almost double the length of most of the other songs on the album, November takes a while to get going, but hits the mark in the second half, with volume changes and a layered guitar build up reminiscent of Bombay Bicycle Club. It is nothing like anything previously heard from Vistas. When quizzed by fans on an album launch Zoom call, Robertson pointed to November as the song that he was most proud of, and talked of how the big finish left things open for what is to come in the second album.
'November takes a while to get going, but hits the mark in the second half, with volume changes and a layered guitar build up reminiscent of Bombay Bicycle Club'.
Given that Vistas have now released 25 songs – all with a very similar structure and vibe – it does seem like a change of tack is needed in the follow-up album. It would be fascinating to see Vistas tackle a stripped-back piano ballad, which would allow Robertson to show off his impressive vocal range. But Vistas mustn’t lose their USP – the pure joy that comes with every song and the relatability that their following connect with.
In these difficult and testing times, everyone needs a bit of Vistas in their lives, and we’re ready for more.