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Video of the Moment #1563: Digitalism

 
By on Wednesday, 2nd July 2014 at 6:00 pm
 

The new Digitalism single features LA synthpoppers Youngblood Hawke, so it makes sense that ‘Wolves’ sounds more pop than dance. Is this a good or bad thing? Watch and listen to the video below and make up your own mind.

The ‘Wolves’ remix EP is out now. Previous coverage of Digitalism on TGTF is here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foXJAV4bRiE[/youtube]

 

Youngblood Hawke / July 2013 English Tour

 
By on Thursday, 6th June 2013 at 9:00 am
 

Youngblood Hawke have announced a trio of English dates (1 in London, one in Manchester) for July 2013. Tickets are on sale.

Cheryl just reviewed their debut album ‘Wake Up’; read her review here.

Friday 5th July 2013 – London Koko @ Club NME
Saturday 6th July 2013 – Manchester Soup Kitchen
Tuesday 9th July 2013 – London Hoxton Bar and Kitchen

 

Album Review: Youngblood Hawke – Wake Up

 
By on Wednesday, 5th June 2013 at 12:00 pm
 

Youngblood Hawke Wake Up cover Youngblood Hawke, a sparkling, poppy quintet from Los Angeles, have released their debut album ‘Wake Up’. Through trials and tribulations that you would never guess from the perky, exuberant music, they have succeeded in making an album that has some pretty serious things to say in a package that brilliantly presents it as bright synth pop. With references to addiction, overcoming adversity and the difficult things you have to endure for your passions, the twist put on it is that there is always a redemptive quality. Sometimes it is through sheer will, but with effort, it’s never too late to make it through. I am happy to see all four of the songs from their eponymous 2012 EP make it to the album, because there wasn’t a dud in the bunch – ‘Stars (Hold On)’ is still my favourite. (You can watch the band perform a studio version of that track here.)

Youngblood Hawke open their album, like they opened their live show when I saw them last October, with ‘Rootless’. It’s the kind of pulsing groove that gets you going and is a perfect opener. They quickly flow into their single, the perfect summertime anthem, ‘We Come Running’. Fresh and bright with a chanting chorus sung by the West Los Angeles Children’s Choir, you can just see summer flowing around them. ‘Dreams’ hits a little harder with some driving synth grounding it. This is the song that probably gets them the most deserving comparison to Passion Pit. With some deeper bass underneath and Martin’s piercing falsetto, it’s a bit epic in its dealing with making choices.

‘Dannyboy’ is a track inspired by a friend of the band, Danny McGuire, who was put into a coma after being hit by a drunk driver. Its words exhort him to ‘wake up’ and enjoy the beauty of the world. Deceptively, as with many of their songs, despite its joyful sound Danny never woke up. Of the songs new to me, ‘Live and Die’ drew me in the most, a tune that tells you to go for it when you are passionate about something, “Gonna find my fortune / gonna steal our fame / gonna live and die along the way / Gonna reach up higher / gonna feel the flames / Live and die along the way”.

Earlier I had predicted that the band had grabbed hold of just the right combination of indie pop and California sunshine to make waves. Youngblood Hawke have crafted tunes that are insanely catchy and have a beat that is imminently danceable, if just the tiniest bit too similar to one another. However, all Youngblood Hawke really needs is a champion to get them played on the radio to send them shooting into the stratosphere à la Imagine Dragons.

The iTunes version of the album has a 13th track called ‘In Our Blood’ and the Spotify version has a 13th track called ‘Survival’. ‘Wake Up’ is available now on Universal Republic Records.

7.5/10

Wake Up’ is available now on Universal Republic Records in America but if you’re in the UK, you’ll have to wait until the 29th of July to nab it on Universal.

 

MP3 of the Day #749: Youngblood Hawke

 
By on Tuesday, 16th April 2013 at 10:00 am
 

Youngblood Hawke are offering up their new track ‘Dannyboy’ as a free mp3 just by signing up for their mailing list. First, listen to the stream below. Like it? You can grab it after entering a couple details here.

 

Live Review: Passion Pit with Wild Belle and Youngblood Hawke at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 16th October 2012

 
By on Friday, 26th October 2012 at 2:11 pm
 

I made the choice to do this show differently. I was actually going to shoot from the pit and enjoy the show from the back. Everyone says about the 9:30, “the sound is better in the back”, but I am so very short, so for me, it’s “the more front, the better”. While the sound was lovely from the back, what I really noticed was that the bass is really amplified in the back. I could actually feel my earplugs vibrate within my ears. I think I’ll just stick to the front.

First opener Wild Belle, with brother/sister songwriters Natalie and Elliot Bergman, filled up a stage already crammed for the night: three bands, 15 musicians and still the same square footage the venue always has to offer. A bit of West African flavour from Elliot Bergman and the soulful voice of sister Natalie effectively obscured their Midwestern origins. Packed with sax, a tinge of reggae and a bluesy vibe, this act made themselves unique by layering it all over a strong synthesiser base. It was quite fresh.

Youngblood Hawke were who got me interested in this gig in the first place. As one of TGTF Bands to Watch (read here), I was quite excited to see how they translated their shimmery pop onto the stage. I was a little shaken by the appearance of Sam Martin, the lead singer; it seemed to me he was channeling Steve Perry from Journey. Blue and white striped trousers, a sequined shirt and shoulder length curly hair. All he needed was a long scarf on his mic stand to look the quintessential ‘80s rock figure.

They took the stage with an energy that I hadn’t quite expected based on their excellent eponymous EP. In fact, during ‘Protect Yourself’, Martin took a very aggressive rapper-like stance that seemed pretty polar to the sparkly pop found on their record. Their cover of Better Than Ezra’s ‘Juicy’, however, grabbed the crowd and had them singing and dancing before they launched into their single ‘We Come Running’. At this point, they truly had the whole place filled with their infectious enthusiasm with Martin breaching the barrier to join the fans. They ended their set with an exceptional percussion piece that had all five of them with sticks in their hands pounding on something.

I went into the Passion Pit gig thinking that it would be populated by hipsters galore, and while I did see my fair share of plaid, beanies, and overly thick-rimmed glasses, it wasn’t too bad. On the flip side, I also did not experience the same kind of mass jumping I’ve seen at festivals (and indeed was a part of the last time they graced the DC area with a free outdoor set). Not withstanding those expectations, this, the third and final of three sold out gigs at DC’s famous 9:30 Club brought it once again. One thing astonished me, although knowing their music, it shouldn’t have. For 80% of the show, there was no guitar. A bass, yes. But no guitar. I almost don’t know how you can be a band with no guitar. Yes, yes, electronic music is all the rage and you don’t need a guitar, but I guess it’s not my usual thing. Gee, even Goyte had a guitar!

The set started off with the catchy single ‘Take a Walk’ getting the crowd dancing and singing. Despite the fact that the nine previous musicians’ worth of equipment had been removed, the stage fairly burst with the ensemble backing Michael Angelakos. The night belonged to Angelakos, prowling the stage like a caged big cat as he does. He wasn’t chatty, but he kept it flowing as they ripped through new and old. It was especially gratifying to hear a couple tunes off the first EP. But it was the sing-alongs like in ‘I’ll Be Alright’ and ‘Little Secrets’ that identified the night. While I have no idea how many in the crowd were repeat attendees, I do know that by the end of the night, Passion Pit had provided spectacular satisfaction for quite a few thousand people during their time in America’s national capital.

After the cut: set lists from Passion Pit and Youngblood Hawke.

Continue reading Live Review: Passion Pit with Wild Belle and Youngblood Hawke at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 16th October 2012

 

Live Gig Video: Youngblood Hawke perform a studio version of ‘Stars (Hold On)’

 
By on Wednesday, 10th October 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

L.A. band Youngblood Hawke, who Cheryl profiled in a Bands to Watch earlier this week, recently recorded this relaxed studio version of ‘Stars (Hold On)’ (from their self-titled EP). It’s really lovely. Watch it below.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

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