Vacation Manor
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Vacation Manor

Lynchburg, VA | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Lynchburg, VA
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Alternative Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Four Indie Pop Bands You Need to Know"

The four piece troupe from Lynchburg, VA is fresh off the release of their debut EP titled, 'Girl, Say.' The EP is stacked with 5 tracks full of catchy, lovable, indie anthems, and will leave listeners demanding more. Led by their first single, 'A Toast and a Spirit,' Vacation Manor hit the ground running with their hook driven guitars and soft atmosphere before releasing the infectious, popping track 'Careless.' It's also one of the best produced debut EP's you will ever hear. Flawless quality and recording skills that you would expect from Indie-pop-gone-famous bands such as Walk the Moon or Foster the People. - Tune Fix

"Vacation Manor - Girl, Say"

What can I say? I love these guys like brothers. We spent a week together in January and I worked them pretty hard. Sixteen-hour days workshopping, arranging, re-arranging, listening, tracking and laughing. A few days in, we looked up and realized we were knee-deep in a record.

And the guys were total champs. Always willing to do whatever it took to get the right take — never once complaining, totally committed to making a great record and having a good time doing it. Let’s just say sometimes what happens in a studio needs to stay there.

- When we realize one of the songs needs a bridge, Nathan leaves for 15 minutes and comes back with pure gold. Unbelievable.

- When Cole walks in from tracking drums on Careless and said that’s the most fun he’s ever had playing drums

- The super weird YouTube video we became obsessed with that ultimately led to the guys daring me to rip the audio and put it somewhere on the record. Did I? You bet I did. Will I say where? Nah.

I couldn’t be more pleased with how this EP turned out. It has only been out for a few weeks and has already gotten some big love. I’m so proud of these guys. The record is available on iTunes and Spotify. - Kyle Cummings Music

"Take a visit to Lynchburg's Vacation Manor"

It’s May 2014. Nathan Towles, whose band recently broke up, decides to attend Lynchstock in Lynchburg. He makes the four-hour trip from Maryland, where he’s living as he attends Catholic University of America in Northeast D.C.

At the festival, Towles meets Dane Spearman, a Liberty University student, and the two get along instantly. Towles, a singer and guitarist, is looking for a band to enter a battle of the bands competition back in D.C. He recruits Spearman, a bassist, who calls up Cole Young, a drummer from the area. The three head up to D.C. where they join Towles’s friend Josh Morales, who will soon become the band’s other guitarist.

“They came on a Friday night—none of us had ever met Cole before—and then we just spent Friday night hanging out. All of us hit it off really well,” says Towles over the phone one afternoon during a rare moment in the band’s busy schedule.

The day after the four meet, they throw together a practice a few hours before the competition. They win.

After winning the battle of the bands, the four walk around downtown in the crisp October air, and they consider continuing to play together as a band. It’s here, on U Street, that Native Spirit is born.

Fast-forward to March 2016. After playing as Native Spirit for about a year, the band has decided to change its name to Vacation Manor to avoid confusion with two other bands they came across with the same name. Its March 13 show at Jammin’ Java will be its first under the new moniker.

“It was just getting confusing. Other peoples’ tour dates were showing up on our website and stuff. At that point we didn’t know if we were going to [have] legal confusion. So just, like, practically, we were thinking now would be the best time to change the name rather than hopefully if we ever have a larger following later,” Towles says.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the band’s set to release its debut EP, Girl, Say, this spring. The online fundraising campaign managed to raise more than $9,725 in just one month to fund the EP’s recording in Nashville.

The EP is a departure from the band’s earlier Americana-rock sound. It’s more indie-pop, according to Spearman.

“It’s such a collaboration of so many of our influences. I think ‘A Toast and a Spirit’ [the group’s first single] was a really good segue into the sound that we’re going for on the EP,” Towles says. (The single is available on Spotify; listen here.)

In August, Towles moved to Lynchburg to attend Liberty for a semester; he’s since left to pursue music full-time. He, Young and Spearman remain in Lynchburg while Morales lives in Maryland, where he attends the University of Maryland. The band members alternate between practicing in Lynchburg and D.C., sending ideas back and forth in between rehearsals.

Spearman, who’s lived in Lynchburg for a little over a decade, says “The coolest thing about Lynchburg is the fact that it’s a college town and there are a lot of people who are like-minded here … It’s a very supportive community, as far as the arts go. Starting a band here, you can gain a really good following.”

While Towles mentions maybe relocating to Nashville someday, he says the band’s main focus in the near future is touring.

“[Relocating is] one of those things you don’t want to jump into without being completely ready. So we’re kind of savoring our time here while we can just because it’s so … We love it here. It’s a lot cheaper to live here, and it’s a really good town for building something,” he says. - Northern Virginia Magazine

"Vacation Manor Interview"

The indie band, Vacation Manor, and they are from Lynchburg, Virginia. The band members are (from left to right): Cole Young (drummer), Nathan Towels (lead singer and guitar), Dane Spearman (bass), and Josh Morales (guitar and BGV’s). The band formed in 2014 and their first concert was in Washington D.C at Battle of the Bands. Before playing the concert, the group wrote and played two songs and won the competition.

Vacation Manor has played with: Magic Man, Civil Twilight, and more! Their music is influenced by: Young the Giant, Leagues, and the War on Drugs. The song I chose came out in October, 2015 and their EP will be released this spring. They have two more concerts on April 23 in Forest, VA at the Lynchstock Music Festival and on June 10 in Richmond, VA at the Capital Ale House. I was lucky enough to interview the Nathan (lead singer and guitarist) and Cole (drummer)!

What do you write your music about?

Nathan: A good amount of the upcoming EP deals with a complicated relationship I was in except for the song “Magic” which is about me and the rest of the guys in the band deciding to really pursue music and realizing the sacrifice that comes with that. That song has been the one for me that keeps developing more meaning as time goes on because it’s experience that I’m consistently living. It seems that life often comes to a crossroads that requires you to either keep grinding and doing what you love or take the easy route out and choose the path of comfort.
Where did of all you meet?

Nathan: Warning: this is a long (but fun) story. Josh (lead guitar) and I grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. and we’ve been really close friends since 2011. Dane (bass) and Cole have both lived in Lynchburg, VA for about ten years and met at a video shoot for a local music festival called, Lynchstock in 2014. I met Dane that same summer at a the music festival because he and I were playing for an artist at the event. After the festival, Dane and I had kept in touch and I had gone back to D.C. where I was going to school at the time.

In October 2014, I decided to play my songs in public for the first time at a Battle of the Bands in D.C. The only problem was – I didn’t have a band. I ended up asking Dane if he’d be willing to make the four hour drive to come play bass for me and asked Josh to play guitar. At that point we had no drummer, so I asked Dane if he knew anyone who could fill in and next thing you know Dane, Josh, Cole, and I were practicing in my bedroom the night before the show. Long story short, we ended up winning the Battle of the Bands and haven’t stopped playing and writing together since. It’s been a wild ride, but dynamite

What is your favorite song on your new album and on your EP?

Cole: Personally, my favorite track on the new EP is definitely “Falling Back.”Many of the songs we have written came very naturally to us but this one did not and we really had to work for it. When we wrote “Falling Back” last winter we were constantly trying new ideas and finding ways for the song to feel natural and cohesive. Now that we have found it, the song has become so satisfying to play and listen to.
Nathan: I would have to agree with Cole, “Falling Back” was a tricky song and we tried so many different variations of that song. We played it live for about a year before recording it, so it feels like its been 5 different songs in the process of evolving to what it is. It’s really cool listening to that song completed. After a year of it slowly being written it just feels like dynamite to play live now!
What was your favorite city and venue to perform at, so far?

Cole: The record shop in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia, our hometown, Speakertree, has gotta be my favorite venue we’ve performed at. It’s a small record shop downtown that turns into one of the most intimate show settings each time we play there. Speakertree isn’t anything fancy, but I think that might be what makes it so special. When you play at a venue that doesn’t have a fancy sound system or lighting rig, the only thing the audience has to pay attention to is the music they’re hearing that is being played by the people in front of them. It also helps that each show is usually packed out with some of our closest friends!
What should your fans be looking forward too?

Nathan: Our fans along the east coast will be able to catch us from D.C down thru Florida this summer, which is definitely exciting! They can look forward to the new EP. For the past six months we have only had one song released and we can’t be more stoked to be releasing new music for our fans to hear.
What are some of your musical influences?

Cole: A lot of the influences I’ve had have come from people that I have had personal interaction with. My neighbor, Mark Bassie, taught me how to play drums and still to this day he’s one of my influences. Will Chapman of Colony House has been a major influence to me over the years as well. I met Will when I was in ninth grade and I instantly thought he was the coolest dude. His drumming was ridiculously tight and he was one of the few drummers I had seen that was also a great performer. And of course, Ronnie Vanucci, Jr… The Killers were the first rock band I fell in love with, and the songs Ronnie Vanucci has written/ played on will always be a part of my life and musical influence. Unfortunately I am yet to have a personal interaction with Ronnie, but I promise I’m working on it.
Nathan: John Mayer and Jon Foreman are two staple artists that have been huge influences since middle school. More recent influences have been The Strokes, Roman Candle, The Preatures, and Young The Giant to name a few. - Rock On Boston

"Vacation Manor: Band talks name change, origins"

Vacation Manor played its first show in 2014 during a Washington, D.C. Battle of the Bands competition, with barely 24 hours of practice.

Band members Nathan Towles and Dane Spearman met earlier that year when Towles came down from D.C. to play drums with Spearman’s now-defunct band, Native Blood, at Lynchstock.

Towles eventually asked Spearman to play in the Battle of the Bands competition, and they recruited two more friends, drummer Cole Young and guitarist Josh Morales, to round out the group.

Despite never having played together — barring a few hours of practice, during which they learned the two songs they would perform — they won.

“Musically, we all just jelled that Saturday,” Towles says. “There were probably eight or so other people playing. A couple interesting acts, a couple really good ones. It was funny because there was a panel of judges — there were a couple college students, a priest or two on it —”

“I saw some nuns in the back,” adds Spearman. “We were playing some pretty rowdy rock back then, and it was really funny watching them dance along to it ‘cause we were mentioning whiskey and cigarettes.”

Originally founded as a blues-rock band, Vacation Manor — which will play on the Lynchstock Stage Friday during Get Downtown — has changed a great deal since that first gig two years ago. They’ve veered in a completely different direction stylistically, now favoring a West Coast pop-rock sound, and even underwent a name change when they ditched former moniker Native Spirit.

“They’ve got a fresh indie sound,” says Jonathan Smalt, Lynchstock co-founder. “I think it's in the vein of a lot of current indie pop. .... It's the sound of our generation. It’s the sound of young, hippies and college students and people figuring out what life is; I think a lot of their songs are filled with those deep questions of identity and love and heartbreak.”

These changes, say Towles and Spearman as they sit in the back of The White Hart Café, fit them much better.

“It felt right,” Towles says. “We started as babies — when we started Native Spirit. Honestly, just musically and in terms of understanding how a band functions. You’re bound to undergo a little identity crisis in there at some point. I think we figured out who we were, though.”

Though still a newcomer in the world of music, Vacation Manor has shared the stage with bands like Magic Man, Civil Twilight and Colony House. This spring, the group released its first EP, “Girl, Say,” and has been doing mini tours along the East Coast ever since.

“What's great with Vacation Manor is their sound matches their lyricism in a really cool way,” Smalt says. “They're definitely on the front of the modern indie pop sound, pushing the barriers for Lynchburg.”

What happened that you needed to change the band’s name?

Spearman: “There’s a funny story about that. When we went to the Battle of the Bands and were about to go onstage, they told us, ‘So you guys want to be introduced as the Nathan Towles Band?’ We’re like, ‘Hell no.’ … We went onstage as Native Spirit and that name stuck. What ended up happening was it encapsulated that music we were playing at the time, that Americana-rock.

“Once we wrote ‘A Toast and a Spirit’ and ‘Careless,’ we realized it didn’t make any sense anymore, it didn’t feel right anymore. Luckily, the change was made for us because another band in Australia got in contact with us saying, ‘Our name’s Native Spirit. We’ve been Native Spirit longer, so you have to change your name.’ In order to avoid any legal disputes and also because we personally wanted to change the name, we decided to leave Native Spirit behind, which was also symbolically leaving behind our old genre in order to reinvent ourselves.”

How did you come up with Vacation Manor?

Spearman: “When Nathan was still living up in Maryland — John and Cole and I had been down here for awhile — there was this house, and we called it the vacation manor because they would take vacation days off work and we would go down there and write.”

Towles: “And none of us lived in that house. We had friends living there that let us use the basement and that’s where we wrote our first couple of songs together. It seemed like a fitting little keepsake to mark the band with.”

Pop is a big change from blues-rock.

Towles: “I like richer lyrics than what pop music usually tends to offer, but I also love a simple tune and the immediacy of a pop song. That you can kind of go into a crowd you haven’t played for before and [they don’t need] a whole lot of context. I always want to play something danceable, but with lyrics that I’m not going to get tired of singing. … A lot of times in pop, things are very contrived to fit a certain audience. There’s some really smart people behind it, who know what people want to hear. I think it’s always cool when you can have something that can relate to a lot of people but that you totally didn’t intend. We were writing music for ourselves and what we liked. It was cool it went over well.”

Since the album dropped, it’s had thousands of hits on both Spotify and iTunes. What is that like for you?

Towles: “That’s a bizarre feeling. It’s very hard to grasp. It’s easy standing up at a show in front of a crowd — I’ve ever only played in front of a few hundred — but even that’s easier to grasp than seeing a number online.”

Spearman: “If you look at ‘A Toast and A Spirit,’ it’s like 180,000 [plays], I don’t know. But, you look at it and it doesn’t even make sense that people are actually listening to it over and over or something. It’s, like, intangible.”

Towles: “One girl that I used to go to school with texted me the other days and was like, ‘I was on a cruise in Alaska and I got to talking with this other girl on the ship and she was a fan of your music.’ That is so weird. It’s not what we imagined to happen at all.”

Spearman: “Apparently it was [on the radio] in Buffalo. I don’t know what that’s about.” - The Burg


Girl, Say EP (April 2016) 

1. Careless
2. Falling Back
3. Magic
4. A Toast and a Spirit
5. Girl, Say



Vacation Manor is a four-piece indie rock band from Lynchburg, Virginia consisting of Nathan Towles (guitar, vocals), Josh Morales (guitar, BGV's), Dane Spearman (Bass), and Cole Young (Drums). The band formed in the fall of 2014 almost instantaneously after the four agreed to play as Towles' backing band for a Battle of the Bands in Washington, DC. After having practiced and performed collectively for the first time, the band had two finished songs and had won the competition all in under 24 hours. 

Over the last two years, the band has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with several well known acts including Colony House, Magic Man, Howie Day and many more. The group's "catchy, lovable, indie anthems" complimented by their energetic live show have garnered comparisons to artists such as Young the Giant, Walk The Moon, and COIN. 

The band independently released their debut EP, Girl, Say, in the Spring of 2016, gaining nearly 500K listens in just a couple of months. In the meantime the band continues to write and play shows around the East Coast and Midwest. 

Band Members