The way you move, a foreign groove, at night
One of my fondest memories of my teenage years is sitting on the cold floor of my best friend’s garage working on circuitry for a model house for our Physics class with my other best friend. We called ourselves the three musketeers, the three amigos, the trio, etc, and we pretty much ruled the world. We finally got to work together on a project for school for once, and we were so excited. We burned our fingers countless times with a grade-school hot glue gun and shouted obscenities, got caught in a terrifying rain storm where lightning pretty much made night into day, got spray paint all over our clothes, and almost tripped over our project a million times (which, by the way, was a replica of Tony Stark’s mansion from Iron Man, thank you very much). However, we had so much fun doing it. We made jokes and talked and laughed until our sides hurt. And of course, we listened to hours and hours of music. The main soundtrack to these few days was Young the Giant’s self titled first album, Young the Giant. We listened to this album on repeat in that garage and sang while we worked and laughed, and it will always be one of my favorite memories of us three.
Young the Giant’s debut album blew my mind. I downloaded it from amazon right after I previewed each and every track off and couldn’t find a song I didn’t like. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was the first full album I bought online, something I never did. It was that good. Sameer Gadhia’s lush, exotic voice takes my breath away every time. The album, which came out in 2010, had an innocent, pure sound and had their hit singles “Cough Syrup”, a dark yet beautiful masterpiece, and “My Body,” an explosion of fun and exuberance. My personal favorite off of this album is a soft, complex work of art titled “Islands.” The lyrics are poetic and meaningful (which I know is something I say all the time but it’s true!). The first track, a song called “Apartment” is my second favorite, and it’s my go to song when I don’t know what to play. Sameer’s voice does magical things and I can feel the emotion through the words, even though I can’t see his face while I’m listening to it. I feel every blink, every breath, and every guitar chord when I listen to their music. The rest of the band (Jacob Tilley, Eric Cannata, Payam Doostzadeh, and Francois Comtois) compliment each other so well and made this first album one of my absolute favorites of ALL TIME. The album, overall, really was a mix of different styles both lyrically and musically, yet it meshed together so well.
Mind Over Matter, Young the Giant’s second album, was a long time coming. A single called “It’s About Time” was released a few months before the actual album, which I listened to almost immediately after it came out. One thing that I noticed was that this sound was worlds apart and completely different than their older songs. It had a more hard-rock style feel, something that I didn’t like at first, but then grew to love. Sameer experimented with his voice and did things that I didn’t even know he could do. He whipped out some falsetto and killed it. Needless to say, I was more than excited for the rest of the album. I pre-ordered the album and received two other songs, a celestial, invigorating anthem titled “Crystallized”, and the song that named the album, “Mind Over Matter”, a song that truly established Young the Giant’s new, mature image. I’ve seen a plethora of these so called “coming-of-age” albums this year (Vampire Weekend, for instance), and all of them have impressed me so much.
I finally got the whole album on January 21, literally 10 MINUTES AFTER I bought tickets to their show, and I couldn’t even contain my excitement. Even though I love those three songs above with all my heart, my favorite off this new album is the last track, a song called “Paralysis.” It’s raw and unrefined, yet powerful and inspiring. Young the Giant is known for their ballads as well as their anthems, and really expressed their more poetic side with a song titled “Firelight,” a song where Sameer’s voice really shines. I will always love this band and what they represent – almost a shining light and beacon of hope for people that think a little deeper, feel a little more, and both speak and make decisions with their hearts – and I’m so happy to know them. I can’t wait to see them in concert tonight. Also, shoutout to my two best friends mentioned in this post. You know who you are. Thanks for putting up with me all these years. Love you guys!