Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Confirmed: Summer Soundtrack

Orange County, eat your heart out. Like promised, I went home and took a little gander into the self-titled debut album from yesterday's fixation of mine, Young The Giant - only to find it wasn't exactly what I had expected. Based on the one single I had heard, I expected youthful ruckus - but instead, ended up listening to pleasantly lighthearted melodic rock that frontman Sameer Gadhia has described as "eternal summer." These California rockers, who have seen many band members come and go with the sway of the ocean surf, were once formerly known as The Jakes, an acronym generated by the founding members' first names. Either way, Jake or Giant, they're back as themselves - and I am very, very into it.

The physical release of this sunshine-rock compilation was January 25, 2011, and the first (and my favourite) single "My Body" has already peaked in the top ten of Billboard's Alternative Songs Chart. With the oldest band member sitting at only 22 years of age - I smell potential, I see that attractive young twinkle in each of their eyes, and I hear a sound that is only going to grow bigger, then bigger, and more giant with experience.

The album, which has been marketed as a sound that caters to the easygoing demographic of American coastal towns like Orange County, does a spot-on job of echoing the feeling of a lax, buoyant lifestyle punctuated by beach bonfires and sand beneath your toes.

A range of beachy first impressions are made during this rolling wave collection; there are bouncy ditties reflecting the ease of carefree afternoon dock parties, as well as softer hymns that complement crashing waves beside the sand-sitting couple. Sparkling boardwalk tracks like "12 fingers" and "Strings" stand out - blends of acrobatic croons, shiny guitar combos, breezy percussion and bouncy maraca's that create the feeling of grooving on a pop-rock cloud. The erupting rock heard in "My Body" doesn't necessarily reflect the whole track listing, but provides a celebratory exclamation between haunting sunset anthems like "God Made Man" and "Islands".

In the end, "eternal summer" is something I appreciate having stacked into my shelf of albums. By buying into Young The Giant's sweet beach side hums and uppity strums that dance like the sun on the water, I bought into my own little musical time-share up high on the cliffs of California.


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