Young the Giant (YTG), was formed in 2004 in Irvine, California but it was not until 2010, after a few band member changes, that they became known as YTG. The original group started playing together as a hobby when some of the men were as young as 16 and 17. It was not until they all reached college that they began to take playing music more seriously.
YTG started out with smaller local gigs and as time went on and the fan base grew, the bigger shows came (Bonaroo, Lollapalooza, South by Southwest). The band consists of five members, Sameer Gadhia, Jacob Tilley, Eric Cannata, Payam Doostzadeh, and Francois Comtois. All the band members are immigrants or first generation Americans.
Home Of The Strange, Young The Giant’s third long playing album (LP), was released on August 12th 2016.
Gadhia, said the lyrics to “Amerika” are about fitting in as an immigrant and the feeling that, “the second that you feel like you may or may not belong to the place that you call home, the rug gets pulled under you and you realize that you're different.”
The album looks into whether it is immigrants or first generations Americans who are the “strange” in the land of the strange,” explains Chang, culminating in the final song “Home Of The Strange”
Gadhia’s explains that his parents came to the United States with the hopes of giving their children the opportunity to achieve what is described as the “elusive” American dream. The band explores what it means to strive for this famous American dream and how that is not as much of a reality as it may seem.
The album has an overall raw intimate feeling that makes the listener feel connected to the artists’ stories and their music.
The recording style also has a live feeling so that it is almost as though you are experiencing it first hand. There is an inviting aspect to the music on this album that allows the listener to be a part of the artists’ journey.
Additionally Gadhia’s voice is very soothing in essence. This is complimented by the engaging rhythms of the instruments that create a rich and pure sound. There is also a pleasant range amongst the tracks themselves. Each song is different enough to keep the music engaging but similar enough to work cohesively on one album. For example the songs “Elsewhere” and “Home Of The Strange” have an old-timey rock vibe that adds to the depth of the album. While songs like “Amerika” and “Repeat” have a more classic feel.
Overall this was an engaging album that touches on a very important topic that many people are struggling with in America. Definitely worth a listen.
YTG embarks on their Home of the Strange tour starting August 27th, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky.