The Youth and Young has released my favorite EP of 2013. The Scottish 7-piece has, for some unknown reason, received very little fanfare in the US and I’ll do my small part in hopes that they get the recognition they deserve for it. It’s going to be difficult for them to escape the comparison to Frightened Rabbit because of the epic, anthemic tunes and the Scottish connection, but here they display a versatility that is surprising for a band just over a year old. Their self-titled effort features 6 tracks (including the eponymous lead track) that range from very good to holy wow.
I knew I was in love with the music three-quarters of the way through the third track, Blanket, as emotions disguised as instruments crashed through the lovely boy-girl duet. It might be the love song of the year. I go back and forth as to whether Blanket or The Colour Upstream is my favorite track as I listen. The refrain of The Colour Upstream has stuck with me ever since I first heard it in late October:
If we all raise up, take a stand for once in our lives, we can make a start, all the non-believers are left far behind.
Your mood can dictate how you interpret those lines. On one hand, there’s something beautifully optimistic about it; on another, it’s hopeless dreaming. It’s capturing the dichotomy of love (at least as I see it).
And that’s the song they leave you on. Make of it what you will, but above all, enjoy it as you do.