Record review: The Youth and Young – ‘Our Father’s Wars/The Ocean At The End Of The Lane’

a1587315488_10You’ll laugh, but I actually chose to review this band’s double A-side single because of their terrible, terrible name.

I mean, The Youth And Young? The Noun And Adjective? Not to mention it immediately suggests they have something new to offer, giving them the horrific challenge of having to deliver on a promise.

But anyway, far from the doom-folk-rave-teenage-angsty pop that I imagined it would be, I’ve strangely and quite accidentally come across an artist I actually like.

This is their second single, and for a folk act to come out of the gate sounding this entertaining and fun is refreshing to say the least.

Of course, they need to take inspiration from somewhere; the guitar intro to ‘Our Father’s Wars’ sounds like every Mumford song ever, but it immediately shifts to something more resembling pop, with plenty of ‘ohhhhs’ that are guaranteed to sound massive live.

They’re sneaky, though; a new idea frequently pops up before the previous one outstays its welcome.

They even dare to have messages swimming among the usual make-your-mark-on-the-ones-you-love-for-your-unborn-sons lyrics; lines like “revenge is no man’s antidote” look deceptively preachy, but sung like this, though, with this accompaniment, at this relentless pace, it’s exhilarating.

In lesser hands, “you’re nothing like your father/you know he was a simple man” would just be annoying, but again in this setting it can be taken both as a taunt and a congratulations; that yes, you can never truly follow in the path of your idols, but doing your own thing is much cooler anyways.

‘The Ocean At The End Of The Lane’, however, is another creature entirely; the two songs seem to belong to completely different genres.

Organs swell, strings flow back and forth, and it all crescendos into a soup of joy that Arcade Fire would give half of ‘Neon Bible’ to write.

You don’t see this much diversity across most folk albums, they’re playing a dangerous game, putting their more experimental material on the single, which is meant to introduce them to the world proper, but it’s something that only the most promising bands can do.

File The Youth And Young into this folder, plus the one titled ‘Ones To Watch’.

Young and old fans alike should flock to these guys as long as they keep up the harmless fun of ‘Our Father’s Wars’, but it’s their ability to escape the chains of modern folk’s conventions and incorporate other styles that make them interesting.

Who knows, The Youth And Young may just fill the hole of semi-intelligent folk-pop in years to come.

Still, shame about the name.

Words: Andrew Maguire

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One Comment to “Record review: The Youth and Young – ‘Our Father’s Wars/The Ocean At The End Of The Lane’”

  1. i love these guys i’ve seen them live at Tiree Music Festival and they were incredible ones to watch for sure:)

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