Young Man: Boy

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Young Man
Boy
(Frenchkiss Records)

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From the first few seconds of the dreamy acoustic guitar and muted percussion, Young Man’s EP, Boy, inhabits a world all its own. Many coming-of-age tales involve dark shadows and traces of blood, but on this record, you can practically hear the birds singing in the background. Rather than viewing aging as grim, Young Man manages to make the experience sound like a bright and cheerful summer.

The album is one part acoustic rock and one part psychedelic, which makes it easy to see the influence of a standard like John Lennon just as clearly as the more modern Animal Collective. It’s easy to lose yourself in the soothing tones of Boy, especially once it hits its true stride during its second half.

The delicate instrumental “Bedtime” is as soothing as its name implies, and the following track, “Playtime,” even includes the fragile melody of a child’s toy. “Just A Growin’” kicks the energy up a bit with a more rhythmic edge, as the drums and bass surge forward. The EP ends on a high with “Up So Fast” summarizing the whole message of the album: “I’m a little boy trying hard to find a better place and a better state of mind.” Let’s hope that there are lessons in this band’s future that will make their way onto subsequent records.

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