Young Galaxy have altered their sound, band membership and business model on Down Time, to glorious effect. The album marks the band’s first fully independent release, one that deals with the emotional processes and questions that come out of living in today’s socio-political climate, along with a heightened need for intimacy. Its production is warm and full, with lyrics that are at once universal and personal. There is a pull toward hope on the album, despite its setting: the lyrics depict isolation and an inherent disconnection, while individuals search for genuine bonds.
Down Time feels like a balm — but one firmly rooted in the present. Desire and longing collide on the beat-heavy “River,” one of many stellar examples of Stephen Ramsay’s production. Each song on the record fits effortlessly into the sonic world that the duo have created, one that soothes as much as it engages. Past singles “Stay for Real” and “Elusive Dream” use downtempo electronics to refine lyrics about the need for authenticity and the oftentimes terrifying state of the world, respectively. This Young Galaxy have a message to share: we must transgress to create our
own future. (Independent)
What are the themes on this record?
Ramsay: It’s very much about transgression, it’s like breaking out of your shell, it’s sexual liberation in some senses — those are undercurrents. It’s hard to talk about, in a way, because I don’t want it to sound... it’s not overt at all, it’s like a need on a very fundamental, cellular level. And even that’s getting tricky! Even that is becoming hard for people, to express themselves that way.
Was this album intentionally created to be an escape from a barrage of information?
We wanted to present things that were maybe complex ideas in a way that also could have some sort of catharsis — it could feel vast and sensual and open-ended, so that the lyrics, perhaps these allusions to difficult subject matter, wouldn’t be encased in traumatizing or anxious feelings. Offering paths of open-ended questions around difficult subjects, and hopefully with enough atmosphere and depth that it can allow people to immerse themselves and feel that sense of introspection, without feeling unnerved or depressed about it.
and assorted strangeness. There’s a penchant for Hawaiian guitar licks now and then, but also car horns, drinks pouring, explosions, cartoon munching sounds and Tony Robbins. Lead single “Something for Your M.I.N.D.” is still the most striking track here, its unexpected hook almost rewriting the rules of catchiness. Comparisons could be made to similarly sprawling supergroups like the Go! Team, but Superorganism are infinitely more giddy and unhinged, offering up one of the most thoroughly exciting takes on pop music so far this year. (Domino) HARDCORE