Photo: Phil Silverberg

Brett Altman Looks for “Vacancy Signs” in New Single (premiere)

Brett Altman has his head in the clouds on this smooth and summery slice of pop, "Vacancy Signs".

Brett Altman describes himself as a late-bloomer, having not performed in public until he hit 20. With that said, the Hoboken singer-songwriter must have broken out of his shell fairly soon after that. All considering, by 21, Altman was performing for a crowd of 17,000 at Penn State in the midst of a talent competition—which he had gone on to win. Now, the artist has honed-in on a midsummer’s sound between the blues and folk-pop stylings of John Mayer and Jason Mraz. Forming a duo with Max Perkins, the songwriting team’s newest single released on the road to Altman’s debut EP is “Vacancy Signs”.

At its core, “Vacancy Signs” is a song about having your head in the clouds. There’s no deeper meaning past the all-too-relatable feeling of a youthful crush quickly whiling all of the hours in the day away. It’s elevated by a slick production value met by Altman’s sweet, soulful croon. All in all, it’s an earworm of an indie pop tune that sets Altman’s forthcoming EP release in a positive light.

Regarding the song, Altman tells PopMatters, “this was the first song I co-wrote with my duo partner, Max Perkins. We were inspired by the concept of crushing on an older woman. We knew it was a relatable message, when daydreaming about someone who is off limits and/or unattainable can get in the way your productivity and focus. The song is intended to be a playful and humorous one, as the storyteller is obviously not grounded in reality. So often we are self-aware that our thoughts are getting the best of us, but sometimes we just don’t care.”

Regarding his relationship with Perkins, Altman says, “Max and I first met during a roommate interview process in the summer of 2017. Max was moving from California to New York to pursue a songwriting master’s degree and our mutual friend, Allie, introduced us (since she knew I was looking for a roommate). We were all set to sign on the dotted line when he surprised me with the news of bringing his two furry feline friends into my apartment. Due to my allergies, I told him it was either me or the cats. While he ended up choosing his cats over me for roommates, I’m glad that he opted for a musical partner who could hold a tune and a microphone simultaneously.”