Saturday Spotlight: Vermont

Vermont are a fairly new alt-rock band, based in Melbourne. They caught my eye with their recent song, “Adored”, and immediately had me in awe of the atmosphere they were able to create with their music. Making me an instant fan, I knew they would be the perfect fit for Saturday Spotlight. Vermont are: Joshua Swanwick (vocals), Jono Hnatejko (guitar), Ryan Hyde (bass), and Curtly Lyon (drums).

Touching on themes of relationships, heartbreak, pain, and inner demons, Vermont are able to create an overwhelming aura of emotion through their sound. Dark guitar and bass tones consistently combine with melancholy vocals in their songs to instill a constant feeling of inner aching. When I listen I get a feeling of being on edge emotionally, in a way that I get so immersed into their music that I feel like I could lose it at any moment and just burst into tears. Naming bands like Trophy EyesCitizenMovements, and Basement as influences, it is easy to recognise the inspiration behind their attention to detail, emotionally speaking.

This often overpowering sound of theirs comes to fruition through the collaborative effort of all Vermont members. “Both Jono and Curt write and record demos, and will bounce ideas off each other and the rest of the band until we come up with a concept we all like, and see potential in.” Elaborating further on their writing process, Vermont take words that Jono and Curt have previously written and then apply them as they fit to new music. The band aims to combine the tastes of all four members when they create music, and their end product seems to be a perfect representation of what they like to listen to.

With only three songs currently released, Vermont have the sound of a band well beyond their years, which perhaps comes from their previous time spent playing together. “We started out in another band that was heavily influenced by pop punk bands, but as we grew older and became more involved in the Melbourne scene it became evident how much our own music tastes had changed.” A member of that band leaving opened the door for quartet to restart. They re-branded themselves as Vermont, and began playing music they loved.

Vermont have recently been playing shows supporting acts like, Stuck OutThe Playbook, and Flicker, and being a fairly new band they have barely scratched the surface of Melbourne venues and gigs. Having not seen them play live myself yet, I was curious as to how they go about sharing such emotionally intense songs in a live setting. “The music we play is a huge passion of ours, and is always written about distinct moments and events that have affected our lives massively. With that we let our emotions take over on stage, to really show how we were feeling at that particular moment in time.” Intensity and vulnerability such as this often seems to create the most intense and most beautiful live performances, involving incredible connection with the audience. Basing that off sets I’ve seen recently from bands like CaseyBelle Haven, MovementsTrophy Eyes, and Endless HeightsI’d expect for Vermont to capture a room just as well as these bands are able to.

Despite their new-ness, Vermont have already ticked off some very cool achievements. Working with Christopher Vernon has been a highlight for them, as has playing shows with bands like Stuck Out, and Spectral Fires. Looking to the future, they have plans to head into the studio soon, and instruct us all to “watch this space”.


Josh Hockey

Melbourne based music journalist who is ridiculously passionate about music, and spends every possible moment listening to it, seeing shows, and of course wearing the merch.

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