The American indie rock band Young the Giant came on the scene in 2004, taking the public by surprise with their mellow tunes. Lead singer Sameer Gadhia, guitarists Jacob Tilley and Eric Cannata, bass guitarist Payam Doostazadeh, and drummer François Comtois create captivating music that genuinely warms your soul. Their hit album “Young the Giant” is 51 minutes of silk blowing in the wind. It’s a breeze of rhythmic intervals traveling from gentle to strong tempos.
YTG opens with “Apartment,” filled with hypnotic guitar chord progressions and occasional riffs that take you by surprise. The upbeat track reels you in, gets your head bobbing, and leaves you wanting more.
YTG’s most popular song, “My Body,” follows. This brilliant hit has been featured in ads for the popular TV show “Teen Wolf,” and in commercials for Mountain Dew and Michelob Ultra. “My Body” has a steady bass line beat that gets your body moving and your feet tapping. The relatable chorus “My body tells me no, but I won’t quit because I want more” can be applied to a number of real-life situations; whether it be in love, in life, or simply on the dance floor, everyone can relate. Cleverly inspired, they paint a personal connection with their words.
YTG continues their upbeat and lively pace with the next track, “I Got.” Gadhia’s smooth voice makes you sway as if setting sail on a warm summer day. The guys then grab the listener’s attention by opening their next song, “Cough Syrup,” with the mesmerizing cello undertones featured throughout the piece. The repetition of the lyric “Life’s too short to even care at all” tries to convince you that worrying is pointless and pushes you to believe that something better is on the horizon. “Cough Syrup,” when taken responsibly and in the correct dosage, can definitely aid in healing.
YTG slows it down with “God Made Man.” It maintains a laid-back feel but catches you off guard with a sudden burst of energy when the tempo picks up midway through. For the last two minutes of the nearly five-minute-long song, Gadhia sings his heart out, desperately trying to figure out why “God made man, and his reason.”
The band returns to its more typical, mellowed-out style for the next three songs. Then they hit you with “Garands.” It starts with a militant drumbeat that is soon accompanied by a dominant guitar melody. The lyrics speak of someone standing up for what he believes in, which in turn allows him to grow personally. The subject of this track is in a battle where he “falls down,” gets back up, and keeps fighting with his “broken bones and muddy shoes.” It’s clear that even though he has “been betrayed by the ones they trust,” what he is doing is right; otherwise, “it wouldn’t feel so familiar.”
Next, “St. Walker” opens with a catchy guitar slide. Gadhia mimics the guitar’s lead by manipulating his voice from high to low. The beat and rhythm of the lyrics grip your hand and walk you down the street on a brisk, clear night. YTG goes from the upbeat “St. Walker” to the much calmer “Islands,” consisting primarily of Gadhia’s wispy voice layered over smooth guitar strumming and faint drum tapping.
YTG concludes the album with authority. They are somehow able to compile the emotions of all the previous tracks into their finale, “Guns Out.” Magically, it’s soft and savory yet edgy and persistent. YTG is truly a talented young band whose easy listening style is enticing to all ages and genders. They capture your soul from the jump and hold you until the ride slows to a satisfying but unwanted end.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.