Annabel - Youth In Youth
Record Label: Count Your Lucky Stars
Release Date: November 24, 2012
Count Your Lucky Stars have done it again. The label responsible for a big slice of the best emo music that has hit the shelves in the last year are back and this time its with Kent, Ohio’s four piece Annabel. The four piece deal in emo with a post-rock twist which will work its way into your heart with its sweet melodies and mature take on the genre. In other words, make room in that End Of The Year list, Annabel are looking for a spot at the top.
Youth In Youth is utterly and unendingly likeable. Each song is presented with a warm glow and a sweet, melodic delivery. If you’re looking for an album that teams the new wave of emo that’s become so commonplace in the last couple of years with something more, an undeniable maturity, Annabel are obliging. Opener “Young America” sums up Annabel’s sound in one track. Quirky guitar lines that are verging on twinkle daddy make way for distinct vocals, an overall catchy vibe and a lo-fi yet still somehow excellently produced air. The marching band drums and brilliantly upbeat feel of the track kicks the record off with an infectious and triumphant introduction.
It gets even better the further in you get. “Risk/Reward” is a toe tapper that is not only catchy but very interesting with its slightly off-kilter instrumentation lending the track an indie-rock feel. Annabel never follow a formula or get boring. The entire album is filled with left turns and surprise turns. Although Annabel could have easily gotten away with putting out a run of the mill emo, as they have the skills to put out a superb straight up emo album. However, Annabel don’t just settle, they experiment with the sound and bring it further than most. Youth In Youth is filled with with emo anthems that make the transition over to post-rock, indie angles, and straight out punk rock. “You Could Be Living Better” has a Japandroids feel to it, with a scuzzy air and a big a giant wall of sound teamed with ‘whoas’, riffs and simplistic, yet anthemic lyrics.
It’s probably lazy of me, but it’s easy to describe Annabel as the Japandroids of emo. Blunt, but heart-filled, easy to relate to lyrics run throughout the record, and the scuzz and garage-like production manages to sound a little epic. Closer, “Our Days Were Numbered” is spectacular. Calling upon a 90s nerd-rock sound that Weezer would be proud of, the track could easily turn into an anthem within the genre, and it would full rightly.
Youth In Youth is for fans of all music. The record has a timeless feel to it and could have been released at any time in the last twenty years. Everyone should listen to this. Everyone. This release could make Annabel the leaders of their scene, and bring the genre to people that would have never gone near it before. I couldn’t recommend this any more. Absolutely brilliant.