The Young International - The Young International EP
Record Label: Self-released (via Kickstarter)
Release Date: Feb. 1, 2010
I've given up on popular music. These days, jangly guitar pop is being cast aside in favor of dance pop, hip hop or R and B. The current Top 10 of the Billboard 100 includes the likes of Britney Spears, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Whiz Kalifa, Enrique Iglesias, Ke$ha, Pink and the Black Eyed Peas. Not one is a guitar-based act. Now this is not a new trend by any stretch but rather a long overdue diatribe.
The point for said editorial is that the Nashville-based band The Young International (who formerly performed under the name Lorien) might quite possibly be making some of the best radio-ready material this side of the Mississippi. On their self-titled debut EP they make a splash almost immediately with the uber catchy "Ruckus," and the should-be Top 10 hit "Gravity."
On the EP's more nuanced cuts, like the buzzing "Say Goodbye to the Sun" and the buoyant "Straight Line," they point to a precision and polish that just isn't seen these days. And yet for all its winning moments, the EP's apex is the gorgeous "Shadowboxing," an ode to insomnia that's nothing short of spectacular. And it is in those four moments that The Young International sound like the breath of fresh air mainstream radio needs.
So if in fact The Young International are new to you, and I imagine they are, do yourself a favor and spend some time with them. Once upon a time, music this good sat atop the charts. That it doesn't anymore is downright criminal. Head here to download a video of the band in the studio making the EP.
I'm a big fan of these guys and really enjoy this EP, but I feel like something is missing. I wish they continued more in the direction they were heading in. when they were known as Lórien, with Esque. Either way, I hope they become huge. They have incredible talent and deserve it.