Monday, April 30, 2007
The Young Republic
I’ve been a bit behind with The Young Republic. A few bloggers, particularly Another Form of Relief have been banging on about them for the best part of a year now. But somehow, I only got round to listening to them recently. Maybe it was something to do with the fact that they’ve been recently signed to the fledgling End of the Road Records, run by the same people of impeccable taste who put on the festival of the same name. But now I’m wishing I had maybe got with it earlier.
The band are a group of students from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, who didn’t waste much time there – meeting and getting together a band in their freshman year in 2004. The group are focused around songwriter Julian Saporiti, but number a total of eight people, playing all sorts of things. Essentially it’s indie pop at its finest, which is bound to get comparisons made with Belle and Sebastian right from the start. But like Camera Obscura last year, they are likely to step out from the shadows of these comparisons and make music that’s better than the more recent output of their more famous peers
Despite only being around for less than three years, YR have been relatively prodigious in their output – releasing no less than seven albums or EPs since then. They’ve also managed a couple of American tours as well. And perhaps refreshingly for an indie band, they’re not one obviously trying to ape their indie heroes. In a recent interview with internet radio station woxy.com, the DJ host teased them about not knowing who Greg Dulli was and one of their number even confessed to not really listening to rock music. Which maybe means they bring a bit of a fresh approach, and I think they do. Saporiti’s songwriting is clear and crisp, and he has an obvious love for 60s pop. And the skill of his music student bandmates in the arrangements and instrumentation in a true joy to hear.
So maybe I am late, but then again, now is a good time to be discovering The Young Republic, as their debut UK release – the 7 inch single Blue Skies is just out on limited 7 inch, and they have a compilation of their recent US releases coming out in the next few months. And best of all, they’re over in this country for a tour in June – hitting the EOTR residency at the Social on the 25th, The Spitz on the 30th, and later of course The EOTR festival in September. I for one will be there at least one of these shows to see if the live experience is as good as I hope it will be.
From the aforementioned woxy session, here are five live tracks, which along with the single and a few mp3s on their website, should keep us in Britian going until 12 Tales from a Winter City comes out. If you want the interview as well, download the whole thing from woxy.
Download: The Young Republic – If You Are a Salesman (live)
Download: The Young Republic – Autumn’s in the Trees (live)
Download: The Young Republic – Blue Skies (live)
Download: The Young Republic – Girl in a Tree (live)
Download: The Young Republic – Goodbye Town (live)
You can get a hold of the 7 inch at Rough Trade, but if it's sold out, you can buy Blue Skies and Small Town in a World War at Rough Trade Digital.