Vancouver’s fast-rising Youngblood is a case study in the power of contrasts.
What started as the creative release of Alexis Young, the music of Youngblood is dreamy but insistent, a feather-soft pillow of lush sound anchored by electronic grooves. The siren-like voice at the centre of it all is fierce and sultry in equal measure—a bit Grace Jones, perhaps a trace of Nancy Sinatra, but always pure Youngblood.
Heavily inspired by the French electronic retro-futurist duo Air, Young has described her music as “what the ’60s thought the future would sound like”, and that’s as apt a description as any of songs that fuse timeless melodies with an aesthetic rooted firmly in the here and now. This is dream-pop to be sure, but a close listen reveals that Young is singing songs of obsession, self-destruction, and romantic catastrophe.
Youngblood’s debut EP, Feel Alright, (released September 23rd, 2016) features five sweet pop confections with hearts of darkness, concocted by Young in collaboration with co-writer Parker Bossley and produced by Juno-nominated DJ and Diplo collaborator Sleepy Tom (Fool’s Gold Records). The first self-titled single reached the No. 6 spot on the Spotify Viral Chart, with the whole EP racking up over half a million plays within the first few months after its release, and has been heard in MTV’s Sweet/Vicious and the snowboarding documentary Full Moon, among others.
Though still fresh on the scene, this is an act that has hit the ground running and has only gained momentum ever since. Barely a year old, Youngblood has already landed in the regional Top 10 of CBC Music’s nation-wide Searchlight competition, and won a coveted spot in the JUNO Master Class artist-development program. And Youngblood isn’t slowing down, either, with a new record already in the works.
In a live setting, the material takes on a powerful new dynamic, with the fiery frontwoman a crackling live wire bewitching the audience. This world-class wrecking crew, which has shared bills with Chromeo, Timber Timbre, and Black Mountain, as well as a sold-out Commodore Ballroom show with Mother Mother, was named a must-see band at Toronto’s Canadian Music Week, BreakOut West and Australian Music Week 2016.
The band—which boasts members of Fake Shark and Gay Nineties—will be hitting the road for a Spring tour after the release of their latest video for ‘Broken English’, so discerning indie-pop fans across Canada and Europe will have a chance to get a taste of all of Youngblood’s delicious contrasts.