Released via a label typically associated with heavy metal, unexpectedly championed by eternal miserablist Morrissey and spawning a song (“Cough Syrup”) which featured during an attempted suicide scene in Glee, the story surrounding Young The Giant’s 2010 self-titled debut was arguably more interesting than the record itself. Produced by Grammy-nominee Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, Nine Inch Nails), their follow-up, Mind Over Matter, doesn’t exactly push the boundaries of indie-rock either. But inspired by their own personal struggles with self-doubt, it’s a far more revealing and ultimately more honest affair. Here’s a look at five of its best lyrics.
Far more in keeping with the sound of the Roadrunner label they recently departed, frontman Sameer Gadhia gets furious on the album’s most aggressive number as he spouts out a series of random catchwords over a wave of distorted guitars and driving beats. Namechecking Jim Carrey’s career highlight while also making the first of several references to paralysis, it’s not exactly clear what he’s rallying about. But whatever it is, it is clear that he means business: [LISTEN]
The overused ‘beat of my drum/beat of your heart’ sentiment of its soaring chorus may leave you reaching for the sick bucket. But otherwise this suitably stratospheric slice of melodic indie-rock is far more intriguing than your usual ‘lighters in the air’ declaration of love as Gadhia’s celestial vocals serve up an array of cosmic metaphors to convince his doubting partner that they are destined to be together for all eternity: [LISTEN]
Despite Gadhia name-checking Radiohead and D’Angelo as its main influences, the title track unsurprisingly bears no resemblance at all to one of the most vocal anti-Spotify protestors or indeed the one-time R&B sex god-turned-overweight recluse. Forget about the rather ambitious and slightly nonsensical pre-release build-up though and you’re left with a charming West Coast indie-pop number based on a long-distance relationship which appears to be powered solely by the naivety of youth: [LISTEN]
Obviously not one of those social media obsessives who appear to believe that day-to-day life needs to be validated by documenting it in every minor detail, Gadhia finds himself with a broken camera while in the midst of a holiday romance. But rather than whining about the inability to update his Instagram feed, he instead celebrates the opportunity to live in the moment on an initially solemn blend of church organs and pizzicato strings which slowly builds up to a quietly triumphant finale: [LISTEN]
Blending the Afrobeat licks of Vampire Weekend with the pastoral folk of the legendary troubadours they grew up with (Neil Young, Wilco), this spacious and picturesque lullaby finds the band ditching the stadium anthemics in favor of a more quietly reflective approach as Gadhia puts ‘hos before bros’ by bidding farewell to his long-time friends to embark on a journey which will either make or break his more romantic endeavours: [LISTEN]