Monday, April 22, 2013

REVIEW: Young Galaxy - Ultramarine

Spring finally is seeping into the mossy Pacific Northwest, so it is time to pull off the earmuffs and look for the defining sounds of springtime, version 2013.  At this point, I think any well constructed playlist of such sounds will have a liberal serving from Ultramarine, by Montreal's Young Galaxy.  Recorded and produced across the Atlantic by Swedish producer Dan Lissvik, Ultramarine boast rich textures of melodies and rhythms, with deep, thick bass, hints of a tropical atmosphere, and the diva-quality vocals of Catherine McCandless.  Sometimes sounding like disco/EDM royalty, and sometimes evoking Kate Bush, she convinces you of the immediacy and sincerity of the music.  While detachment is a defining characteristic of much electro-pop, Young Galaxy takes the opposite tack -- the energy and emotions are on the surface for all to share.  For you playlist makers, here is a suggested serving of Ultramarine:

I will add that the up-tempo joys of the above tracks should not cause you to avoid the wonderful tracks that take a less aggressive approach.  "Eternal Summer", "In Fire" and "Sleepwalk With Me", for example, prove that the band cannot be categorized as solely a purveyor of music for the dance floor or the beach.  In fact, it is the emotional depth of such songs that anchor the album in your brain after you feet have stopped moving.

Young Galaxy is Stephen Ramsay, Catherine McCandless, Stephen Kamp, Matthew Shapiro, and Andrea Silver.

Ultramarine is available on Tuesday, April 23 via Paper Bag Records.

Twitter ( @younggalaxy )
Paper Bag Records

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