Hailing from Vancouver, the four-piece group, Gold and Youth, have been raising anticipation and hype with their trio of EP’s that they have trickled out in the past couple of years. Playing cross-continental, the group managed to garner critical acclaim on a global basis even before they had a full length out. Signed to the Canadian label, Arts and Crafts (Broken Social Scene, Stars, Timber Timbre), Gold and Youth have kicked off their career with Beyond Wilderness and from the hearing of things, it becomes apparent that the hype and acclaim was, and is, all rightfully beheld.
Beyond Wilderness had a healthy host of talent working behind the scenes; Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, New Pornographers, Destroyer) and mixed by Gareth Jones (Depeche Mode, Interpol, Grizzly Bear) and Damian Taylor (Björk, Robyn, Arcade Fire). With such creative powerhouses backing this project, it would seem that Beyond Wilderness would be a recipe for success, and in the end, it certainly is.
The album opens up with welcoming, warming synths that are being backboned by a simple, yet effective percussive loop which soon expands and introduces some guitar pickings that are laden with a golden aura of pure hook and 80’s nostalgia with a modern twist on ‘City of Quartz’. The track immediately pulls you in and leaves you to be swooned and carried by Matthew Lyall’s deep, towering, yet all too handsome vocals that impressively manage to keep with the 80’s nostalgia and which are also eerily reminiscent of White Lies’ Harry McVeigh. The track is a perfect introduction the group’s dark, sleek mystique all presented in an irresistibly catchy form.
From there, Gold and Youth continually stay strong. With ‘Tan Lines’, the group slows it down a bit with thick, sharp bass riffs, wonderful male and female vocal shadowing, and fantastically alluring synthesizers. On ‘Cut Lip’, Gold and Youth really slow it down as this track serves as an interlude of sorts. It’s a nice attempt, but it sort of takes away from the momentum that the previous tracks help build. ‘Cut Lip’ is bold yet ambient and eventually leads into the cinematic ‘Come To Admire’, a track which relentlessly constructs, deconstructs, constructs again, and eventually leaves the listener amidst an audio climax which is quite brilliant. Ever so layered and textured, with three sets of vocals, the group shows off their adventurous song writing spirits and absolutely captivating song writing.
Gold and Youth have a very strong debut with Beyond Wilderness, their ability to blend elements of the past so seamlessly with that of the present results in a record which is well inspired, yet all too unique in its own right. Very catchy, very melodic, it’s an album sure worth getting stuck in your head.