Under Review

Young Galaxy


Paper Bag; 30/10/2015

Kat Kott

The feeling of breaking free of the usual grind is universal. Whether escaping into the city or staging a dance party in your friend’s room, the promise of escape is often what propels us through tedious times. Young Galaxy has observed this. And the Montreal group has crafted a soundtrack especially for those feelings.

Young Galaxy has been making music since 2006: Falsework is their fourth album. The band layers ethereal, electronic, bass-heavy beats with the crooning voice of Catherine McCandless. The dynamic is electronic and spunky, but the underlying beat is hearty and intriguing.

While it’s upbeat and energetic throughout, the album progressively gets more sentimental in tone. The song “We’re No Good” stands out from the rest of the album. While most of the other songs are positive or mystical, this song is specifically about recognizing a toxic love: “I finally see what you’re looking for / A little piece of me / To take away for free.” It’s very touching in the midst of a feel good, free wheeling album. However, it also manages to be liberating and fit with the mood.

The whole album flirts with wanting to find love, sweetly reminiscing, and creating your own fun. Many songs start with a high energy hook, let the vocals lead for a bit, then dive back into the spotlight for the vibrant and cathartic choruses.

The relation between the vocals and the sonic landscape are strongest in the song “Pressure.” A small, playful beat quietly coexists amongst a voice questioning the reality of unfulfilling work. The underlying music feels like a wave rushing in at the same time the lyrics start to get really liberating, until the song gets to the culminating thought: “There must be / Ways of making a life for more than a living.” These various focuses and slight ambiguity make the entire piece so relatable. Any essence can speak to you; you can choose what to emphasize for the night.

The root of what this album provides is hope. Bursting dance beats, accompanied by a lyrical glimpse of what could be, suggest to the listener that the potential of change is in the air, and that mundane rituals will be altered.