Premiere: Isle of Man Artist-to-Watch Voodoo Bandits Inject Unrelenting Energy into “Empty Swimming Pool”

Voodoo Bandits © Christopher Brew
A sunny surf-pop delight, Voodoo Bandits’ infectious new single “Empty Swimming Pool” delights with its buoyant mix of surging rock guitars and relentless grooves.
for fans of Grouplove, The Wombats, The Strokes
Stream: “Empty Swimming Pool” – Voodoo Bandits




Sometimes a song hits you and you just know it’s a hit – and when it comes to a band like Voodoo Bandits, the future feels written in the stars: These four are going places. With three singles out and a fourth arriving today, these UK indie rockers inject a youthful effervescence into every moment, making songs that are fun, fresh, and unforgettably catchy. A sunny surf-pop delight, Voodoo Bandits’ infectious new single “Empty Swimming Pool” delights with its buoyant mix of surging rock guitars and relentless grooves.

Empty Swimming Pool - Voodoo Bandits

Empty Swimming Pool – Voodoo Bandits

An empty swimmin’ pool,
On a mountain range,
Breeze cool,
Empty feelings make you feel more brave,
A day in the life,
of a screamin’ hand,
I miss my shoes,
Cliff dive down and come up to tell the truth

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Empty Swimming Pool,” the fourth single release by Voodoo Bandits and their first song of 2020 (out on Superblue Records March 2020). Debuting only last March with their single “Sink Below,” Isle of Man’s Voodoo Bandits consists of Ben Donaldson (Rhythm Guitar & Vocals), Corey Vaughan (Lead Guitar), Nathan Vaughan (Drums) and Charlotte Wilby (Bass). Between “Sink Below” and 2019’s follow-up tracks “Ride the Wave” and “Psych Beach,” the British band have wasted no time in asserting themselves as a need-to-know artist-to-watch. Their jumpy beats and frenetic lead guitars make for a fueling, energizing listening experience: They fall on the punkier side of Bad Suns, with hints of The Strokes and Grouplove built into an unapologetic, sun-shining mix of surf-pop and indie rock.

Voodoo Bandits © Christopher Brew

Voodoo Bandits © Christopher Brew



Arriving on the heels of these songs and a slew of blog noise, “Empty Swimming Pool” highlights everything there is to love about Voodoo Bandits.

A passionate, riled-up banger, the track showcases Ben Donaldson’s charming vocal tones and his expert partnership with lead guitarist Corey Vaughans — the two trade melodies in the verses and pre-choruses with ease, seamlessly weaving a complex musical tapestry into the fabric of their song. Meanwhile, Charlotte Wilby’s bass and Nathan Vaughan’s drums provide the persistent backbone necessary to continuously push the track forward, keeping the audience on our feet as we sit in awe of something so simple, yet so inspired.

Sometimes, all it takes is a really good arrangement to blow a song out of the water.

“I was creating many fast-paced indie rollercoasters in December 2019, and this one just stood out to us!” Voodoo Bandits’ Ben Donaldson tells Atwood Magazine. “It had a real uplifting feel and groove. We quickly added it to our set before our England debut that same week, and it has served us well as an attention-grabbing set opener since! I wrote the lyrics with my dog, which is probably why they don’t make too much sense, but we both love the counter culture; and that is what this song is about. But, if that’s not for you, alternatively it is about the blurry outcome of our decisions with symbolic imagery!”

‘Cause it’s all the time,
Life wears me out,
There is no signs,
To what it’s all about
Voodoo Bandits © Christopher Brew

Voodoo Bandits © Christopher Brew



While the lyrics, as Donaldson says, can be a bit of a headache to interpret, it’s extraordinarily easy to ride along with Voodoo Bandits’ pristine guitars. The swoops and soaring melodies are reminiscent of The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. and The Killers’ Dave Keuning, and how they effortlessly made their instruments a centerpiece of their respective bands’ work, without taking anything away from their fellow instruments or the overall sonic experience.

Truthfully, what Voodoo Bandits have going for them is an exquisite balance of forces: Their music is bright, but measured; dynamic, yet controlled; passionate, and filled with smart confidence.

Produced by Dave Armstrong (Back Door Slam) and mixed and mastered by Manchester-based producer Jamie McIntyre (The Covasettes and The Flitz), Voodoo Bandits’ “Empty Swimming Pool” is full of life and vigorous energy: It wants you take it and run as far as you can, for as long as your legs will let you go.

Stream the new single exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and don’t sleep on this artist-to-watch! Voodoo Bandits’ future is truly as bright as their music, and we cannot wait to watch (and hear) them grow.

Ocean reverb smiles,
On a waterslide,
Go down quick to make you feel alive,
Sea-foam green,
On a bass guitar,
Pull some strings to make you go far,

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Stream: “Empty Swimming Pool” – Voodoo Bandits



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Empty Swimming Pool - Voodoo Bandits

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com