Under Review

Derrival

Youth Captured (Independent)

Review by Willa Bao


 
Compared to Derrival’s previous work, Youth Captured is less immediate-sounding than Where There’s Smoke and not as light and bouncy as The Autumn Game/Modern Age Kids. They have blended the upbeat and heavy while also incorporating some new sounds, such as swells, guitar effects, and other percussion techniques.

Despite the album’s theme of youth, it simultaneously has a mature feel to it. The only hint of teenage awkwardness is in the opening track “Camera Lens”: “Oh now love / Would you care to dance / Even though I / Well you know I can’t.” Their single, “Victoria Day” has an epic quality, featuring a galloping rhythm, dancing bassline, and sustained vocals (side note: the music video is definitely worth checking out). The instrumentals in “Flood Gates” are as lulling as lounge music; very chill and pairs well with a craft beer or 50-50. Interestingly, the album ends with “Camera Lens (Part 2),” the first track’s chorus set to some heavier chords and electric guitar noise. It’s similar to what Mother Mother did on The Sticks, where they had repeating motives for opening and closing tracks.

The musicality of this young band is superb: their sound is controlled and has variations in dynamics. Each song has well-balanced vocal harmony and pulsing chords that provide energy without needing a pounding beat. The textured vocals (think a younger Aidan Knight) and somewhat ambiguous lyrics draw the listener in and emphasize the reflective nature of the album. The rolling percussion gives songs forward motion, creating momentum to counteract the mellow vocals while basslines are varied and work well with the percussion. In “Young Bodies,” for example, the bass and percussion play off of each other under the grinding sound of the guitars. Lead guitar doesn’t neglect higher up the fretboard to produce catchy 4-5 note, retro-sounding riffs that add brightness to the mix. The keyboard contributes to the fullness of the overall sound, as well as ties the other instruments’ sounds together.

Having so much to say about a seven-track album is a testament to how well-composed it is. If you don’t believe me, go to Derrival’s Bandcamp page and have a listen for yourself!