Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from Cardiff (Wales) duo, The Vanities. Rhys Bradley (vocals/guitar) and Adam Hill (bass guitar) are The Vanities and their single, Private Army is released on March 31, 2023, and we were thrilled to be given the opportunity for a pre-release listen today.

Private Army is a haunting lament on the folly of humankind in the new era of war in Europe. It is a song that grabs your attention immediately and will undoubtedly stay with you for quite some time to come. Lead vocals bring the song in before a piano joins the mix. The vocals are warm, breathy and intimate with perfectly dialled-in distant church-like reverbs.

As the song develops, low strings are added, and then further (higher) strings are added, giving the initial section of Private Army a real Musical Theatre feel. Vocally in places, we could imagine Elton John singing this track. Bradley’s vocals are distinctive and passionate, and instantly likeable. The whole track has a ‘Power Of Love’ (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) feel.

We found ourselves already heavily invested in this track by the time the drums and bass joined in. With some gorgeous and sparse incidental guitar, the song progresses well and uses some high vocal “wails” in place of the strings to break up the sound and keep us thoroughly entertained.

Private Army is a positively anthemic piece of music with 80s leanings that we were highly impressed with. Everything about this track screams pure class.

Ideas from our ears

The frequency balance on this track works beautifully. To our ears, some extra compression could increase the thickness and power in the track. A multi-band compressor with crossover points placed equally along the spectrum and set for around 3-5dB of gain reduction and make-up gain. Finally, a regular light compressor/limiter and maybe 3dB of make-up gain on the full mix to add a touch more warmth and volume. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.

Final thoughts

Private Army was our first introduction to the music of The Vanities, but from this high-quality, emotive and anthemic offering, we’re hooked! We highly recommend this track if you’re searching for the next 80s-influenced music with astonishing vocals, this is for you. Pre-save it now. You will not be disappointed.