Album Review: American Youth – Swan Sessions #1 EP

| November 28, 2012 | 0 Comments









ARTIST: American Youth

ALBUM: Swan Sessions #1 EP

Huddled together in an apartment, American Youth, an indie avant garde folk group, record their stripped down EP titled “Swan Sessions #1”. For being recorded in a band member’s apartment, the sound quality is very impressive. Granted, I know very little about recording music, but to the untrained ear, it is hard to believe this was recorded away from a studio. The acoustics of the apartment created a nice hallow sound during the first song, “Lovers In Bars,” which ends with a chorus of voices similar to “Make War” off Bright Eye’s album Lifted…This hallow tone combined with other melodies found through out the album causes lots of textures in the music.

The third track “Chemicals” showcases these textures with featured harmonica melodies shining through from the traditional drums and guitar set up. “Chemicals” is a nice mix of bright melodies paired with slower smoother melodies. While I found the bridge of “la ti da da” to be silly and childish, it’s a good song overall. The next song, “Like the Ocean” was a let down. I thought is would be moving, considering they aim to “ignite the soul” with their music, and “Like the Ocean” was all about the feeling of love. However, the lyrics were rather cliché and had an already heard quality to them. The song does have a good chorus though; I’ll give it that.  While I wouldn’t say this EP ignited my soul, I think American Youth is on their way to getting that kind of response out of people. People love to hear their own emotions (happy or sad) put into music. It’s cathartic, and since the beginning of documented time, people have found great relieve in cathartic experiences. I think if American Youth focused more on this cathartic aspect, they can really strike a nerve with their listeners.

The last track on the EP, “Precipitation Mix” was very strange. They decided to throw strings into it, something not very present (if at all) in the rest of the EP. The strings sounded out of place and like they were taken straight out of Muse’s “Undisclosed Desires.” The strings worked for Muse, but I’m not sure if American Youth can pull it off, at least not with the tone that was set on this EP. Despite the strange strings and disappointing soul ignition, this was one of the better EPs I’ve reviewed. A toned down, less dance inspired Grouplove, American Youth’s music comes from the heart, but could come from a deeper place. I look forward to hearing good things about American Youth in the future.

Upcoming American Youth Shows

  Dec 01  Acoustic House Show with Abandon Kansas in MPLS! Minneapolis, MN
  Dec 09  AY @ Triple Rock with Gabe of The FourOnTheFloor Minneapolis, MN   Tickets
  Dec 16  Turf Club St Paul, MN   Tickets
  Dec 27  Mill City Nights Minneapolis, MN   Tickets
  Jan 24  Mill City Nights Minneapolis, MN   Tickets


My essence is made of music, running, and Arrested Development

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My essence is made of music, running, and Arrested Development