Youngblood Hawke – Youngblood Hawke EP
Record Label: Republic Records
Release Date: August 14th 2012
I’m going to start off this review with an obvious truth – indie-rock and indie-pop are making a comeback to the mainstream. If you didn’t know that, you’re either living under a rock or in Russia. All jokes aside, this is good news to me, because I’m a huge fan of these “newer” indie-pop/rock bands to come out in the last few years, such as Of Monsters and Men, Two Door Cinema Club, The Lumineers, and Mumford and Sons, who won album of the year at the 2013 Grammys for sophomore record Babel. Those are just a few of the newer indie bands, however; there are plenty that aren’t as popular as they should be, and California indie-pop band Youngblood Hawke are one of them. I’ve heard of this band for awhile, but never checked them out until recently. That seems to be the story with a lot of bands I discover, but this one is true. Best Buy has their self-titled EP for only $4.99, so I thought I’d pick it up, since I didn’t have anything else I surely wanted to check out. I remember hearing first single “We Come Running” briefly, and I enjoyed the track, so I definitely wanted to check out the whole thing, and I was quite pleased, really. While there’s not too much that’s unique about this band, they’re still very enjoyable indie-pop that definitely deserve to be popular.
The EP begins with the single “We Come Running,” and this is very nice song to start off the EP because this song really is the essential track by this band. This is the song most people know, and it’s for good reason, because this song takes everything that makes this band enjoyable and throws into a single song. It’s got a very nice indie-pop sound to it, including a really nice synth in the chorus along with some gang vocals, which make the chorus a lot more memorable, and it seems like it would translate well in live setting. This isn’t their best song, but it is a good song to use as a single as well as to show what the band is made out of. The only complaint I really have is the production; for whatever reason, I don’t really enjoy the production on this record. Despite being on a very good label, the production seems rather off to me. That’s rather minimal, but it still can be a deciding factor. It is better that the EP is only five songs, so it doesn’t drag on whatsoever, and in fact, I do feel like I want more from this band. Next track “Stars (Hold On)” definitely continues this indie-pop vibe, and it does have the gang vocals in the chorus like “We Come Running” which is rather unique, because I don’t hear this too often. Third track “Forever” is the only track on here that I’m not too crazy about; it’s not a bad track, but it doesn’t do a lot for me, really. It’s nice it’s on the middle of the record, because it doesn’t slow it down whatsoever. The last two tracks are my favorites, honestly. The former is “Rootless,” and this is a really straightforward indie-pop track, but I love the lyrics on here, nonetheless. That’s the main thing why I enjoy this track, because the lyrics are really interesting here. They are interesting throughout the record, but this song and the last song “In Our Blood” have some of my favorite lyrics. Last track “In Our Blood” is my favorite track, and I love how this track closes the EP out. I don’t even know what I like this about this track, but it really works as the closing track. Regardless, this is a nice little 18-minute EP that’s really just a teaser of what the indie-pop outfit is capable of, and if you’re a fan of that genre, I’d definitely pick it up.