Smile Politely

Young the Giant sings songs of our youth

Young the Giant have a type of soul flowing through the melodies of their tunes that somehow can’t be denied. It’s interlaced in every note, harmony and bass strum. While the lyrics to a song such as “Cough Syrup” may touch one spiritually — a call of sorts that demands to be felt deep where one thought love for a song could touch no more — others may feel weightless and free when “Crystallized” finds its way through the speakers. A versatile band lyrically and musically, Young the Giant is bringing that American indie rock sound to The Canopy Club. Here’s a scoop for those wanting a taste. 

There’s always a story behind a name, but first, for those wondering where you’ve heard the name but can’t recall where, think “My Body”. Got it? Let’s continue.

Currently consisting of members Sameer Gadhia (vocals), Jacob Tilley (guitarist), Eric Cannata (guitar, vocals and keyboard), Payam Doostzadeh (bass guitar and vocals), and François Comtois (drums, percussion and vocals), Young the Giant’s first self-titled album released in 2010 contained hits such as “My Body,” “Cough Syrup,” and “Apartment.” All three made it to the top of the US Alternative Chart, and “My Body,” reached number five on the Billboard Alternative Songs Chart.

Perhaps the best aspect of all three popularized songs is that, while it is evident each come from the same album, each sound is completely different from the last. It’s a mixture of high energy strums and drumming set off in the opening notes that make “My Body” so distinct from “Cough Syrup’s” symphonic opening and “Apartment’s” soft sounds. It’s a story of tales told through an album, be it the highs and the lows or the “life’s too short to even care at alls,” and that is truly what makes the self-titled its own sort of journey for the listener and projected this album to number six on Billboard’s US Top Alternative Albums. “I Got,” and “My Body” are two recommended choices from this bad boy. 

Mind Over Matter, the band’s second studio album released in January 2014, shows the progression of a band musically and the depth of Gadhia’s voice as a singer portraying real emotion through a single verse. Peaking at number two this round once again on Billboard’s US Top Alternative Albums, Mind Over Matters lyrical content almost surpasses it predecessor and goes for the heart of Alternative indie rock music. “It’s About Time,” “Crystallized,” and “Mind Over Matter” were all released as singles and, once again, aimed to reach listeners each in a different way. Within the chorus of “Mind Over Matter”, Gadhia can be heard belting lyrics that almost sound haunting as he states:

And if the world don’t break,

I’ll be shakin’ it

Cause I’m a young man after all

And when the seasons change

Will you stand by me?

‘Cause I’m a young man built to fall                        

The song itself is chilling, but it is Gadhia’s voice that adds life to the mix, to the album’s mix and more. “Daydreamer,” “It’s About Time,” and “Mind Over Matter” are the top dogs that’ll keep you rockin’.

The two albums listed can be boasted on their own just fine, but if you’re looking to build a deeper connection with the band and gain more knowledge on the band’s musical talent, Young the Giant now have a new feature that brings their albums to life: In The Open. In these video features, the band play anywhere from an empty room to the middle of the woods with few instruments in tow and Gadhia’s voice alone to really pinpoint what this band has to offer for those willing to give an ear. To put it simply, to hear and see Gadhia sing “Mind Over Matter” beautifully in a cave may be the step that gets you to purchase a ticket to their show. It’s that kind of song.  

Get a taste of the indie rock live and in person and feel the soul of a band speaking to your youth.

Young the Giant will be in Urbana at The Canopy Club November 4th and 5th, though both shows are sold out.

Top photo by Lauren Dukoff.

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