Young and Inspired
One of the most difficult aspects of young upcoming bands trying to make a name for themselves is how they distinguish their image from other bands. Young the Giant, a band of multi-cultured background hailing from Irvine California, has built their success on their exemplification of pure indie rock music. The eclectic ensemble of musicians and upbeat energetic sound that Young the Giant delivers is simply catchy and enthralling. The band’s desire to make an impact on their audience through music is what truly makes them special and gives them a unique identity. In Young the Giants performance at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland, the band accentuated the difficulties one faces in growing as a human and negotiating the different boundaries of social values in life. The band’s lyrical manipulation combined with their blatant freedom and disregard of society’s social pressures were masterfully demonstrated in their performance. And, through this performance is how they collectively assert themselves as a true indie rock band. In their live performance, I witnessed how this young adventurous band created a strong identity and connected to their legion of fans.
To begin to understand the identity and music of Young the Giant, one must first know what inspirations Young the Giant draw from to create the music they play. Young the Giant started as a small high school band from Orange County, California (Young the Giant, www.Artistfacts.com). The band formally known as, “The Jakes,” was comprised of band members from very different cultural backgrounds ranging from French to Indian. In an interview with www.watchmojo.com, Sameer Gadhia the bands lead singer speaks about how the Orange County, California music scene as well as artists such as Radiohead and Bob Dylan inspired him and his fellow band members to perform. Music was more then a sound, but a means to express social commentary. He discussed how there was a very strong eclectic music scene while the band was in high school and during those years the performers gained motivation to start a band and really commit to making music as a career originated. After the band members graduated high school the band collectively dropped out of college to pursue Young the Giant as a full time career; this is where they began formulating a true identity for themselves.
I have been a fan of Young the Giant since their debut self-titled album “Young the Giant” was released in late 2010. As an avid indie rock fan I found Young the Giant a pleasant mix between upbeat rock music and soft melodies with acoustic rhythms. I like indie rock because of its flexibility as a genre. It does not base itself in hard-hitting beats such as EDM or conversely as very acoustic, soft sounds such as folk music. In an article written by Ryan Hibbet, in the journal of Popular Music and Society, titled “What is Indie Rock,” he defines the genre as, Independent of the economic and political forces, as well as the value systems and aesthetic criteria, of large‐scale production. At the same time, in its manifestation as “indie” (not “independent”), indie rock mystifies itself, its more literal meanings giving way to something both trendy and exclusive (Hibbet, 58).
The ambiguity and the diverseness of this genre is what attracts me to it and I feel it is what Young the Giant truly represents. From a purely instrumental perspective, they do not produce any electronic beats; they utilize new technologies such as voice and guitar pedals. However, their music is always recorded live and they pride themselves in that (Watchmojo.com interview, March 17th, 2012). The band lyrically also connects to their fans on an intimate level, which becomes more evident during a live performance when inflexion is utilized, the subtleties and emotion may not be apparent in their songs in MP3 version; but while seeing them live in concert Sameer Ghadia, the lead singer, gives context to his...
Cited: Cohen, I. (2011, February 3). Young the Giant: Young the Giant. Retrieved from http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/15030-young-the-giant/?utm_campaign=search&utm_medium=site&utm_source=search-ac
Gadhai, S. (2012, March 17). Interview with Young the Giant [Interview by R. Briton]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Misg6ZSaaJA
Herzog, K. (2014, January 22). How Young the Giant Found Their Voice and Lost Their Inhibition. Retrieved from http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/how-young-the-giant-found-their-voice-and-lost-their-inhibition-20140122
Hibbett, R. (2005). What Is Indie Rock? Popular Music and Society, 28(1), 55-77. doi: 10.1080/0300776042000300972
Jackson, N. (2012, July 19). Young the Giant Are OC 's Next Great Band. Retrieved from http://www.ocweekly.com/2012-07-19/music/young-the-giant-irvine-francois-comtois-payam-doostzadeh-eric-cannata-sameer-gadhia-jacob-tilley/
Turino, T. (2008). Music as social life: The politics of participation. University of Chicago Press.
Young the Giant. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.artistfacts.com/detail.php?id=2739
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