Pure Noise Records is home to many well known pop-punk bands, like The Story So Far and State Champs. Youth Fountain signed to the label last year and, with this great debut album, the Vancouver duo has begun
to make its mark. Letters to Our Former Selves combines an energetic sound with honest and melancholic lyrics to result in a well-crafted album full of emotion.
“Helpless” opens the album with a delicate guitar riff and a short verse, creating a majestic sound before going into the title track, “Letters to Our Former Selves.” Its loud guitars, fast-paced drums and shouting vocals set the tone for the rest of the album. This can become repetitive at times, but the duo includes them in the right places to show angst and frustration in tracks like “Worried,” where the first verse starts slowly and explodes into an aggressive pre-chorus and chorus.
“Rose Coloured Glass” stands out for its classic pop punk guitar riff that intertwines with the bass perfectly and the depressing lyrics that contrast with an upbeat melody. The vocal interplay between Tyler Zanon (guitar/vocals) and Cody Muraro (vocals) is especially good here. They take turns singing the lines and it feels natural instead of being a distraction. They also nail the backing vocals by using different voices. A similar technique is present in the other tracks as well, and Youth Fountain’s sound definitely benefits from it.
The album explores loneliness, self-doubt, and resentment in the most honest way possible. “Worried” shows self-doubt with lyrics like, “It’s useless to ask what this life is all for / If we found out the answers, we’d still want more,” making you experience all the emotions of the situation yourself. Similarly, “Complacent” hides nothing about the pain and bitterness one could feel about a relationship that fell apart. The album closes with a high level of energy on the tracks “Grinding Teeth” and “Blooms” in a smart mix of sadness and pessimism.
Letters to Our Former Selves touches on personal issues with an energetic sound that helps to convey emotions. It is a good start for Youth Fountain and it will be interesting to see them continue to develop their sound.