Courtesy: Spartan Records
Late last month, indie rock outfit Young Fox released its new album Sky Beats Gold to the masses. The 10-song record, released via indie label Spartan Records, is one of this year’s top new independent albums. That is due to the arrangements at the heart of each song and the songs’ lyrical themes. In regards to the record’s arrangements, the sound generated through the arrangements is such that it will appeal to fans of Project 86, Anberlin, Thrice and other similar acts, giving the record and interesting depth. The songs’ lyrical themes add their own depth to the record, too, forcing listeners to really think as they listen to each work. All things considered, this record is one that shows the best elements of the indie music community, proving once again why it is one of this year’s top new independent albums.
Young Fox’s new full-length studio recording Sky Beats Gold is one of this year’s top new independent albums. It is a record that clearly goes for the gold. That is evidenced throughout the course of its 10-song body. The record’s opening track ‘Sometimes The Monsters Win’ supports those statements. That is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement. The song’s guitar-driven arrangement instantly conjures thoughts of works by Thrice and Project 86. This is the case in the song’s verses and its chorus. The break that follows the bridge is an especially smart part of the song’s arrangement. That is because it sets the stage for the song’s closing moments, really providing a powerful final musical statement. When that moment is joined with the rest of the song’s arrangement, the whole of the arrangement becomes such that it makes this composition a solid starting point for the album. The song’s lyrical content strengthens its whole even more.
The lyrical content presented in ‘Sometimes The Monsters Win’ presents just as much depth to the song because of its seemingly contemplative nature. Front man Luke Cypher sings over the song’s guitar-driven arrangement, “Take this unrelenting heart/And this voice in my head/My mind commands my mouth/To count the creaks in your bed/I heard every word you said to him/When the sun died.” He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Take this unrepentant heart/And find the road through this room/As your mouth commands your mind/To see what I’ve consumed/If you should forget yourself/Please don’t forget that eyes remember everything/Images of lives and kings/Pleading now to take you in/Try to sleep through the night/Cause sometimes the monsters win.” The lyrical content in the song’s second half is just as deep, with Cypher singing in just as many metaphors. Guitarist Martin Lunn said in a recent interview that the mass of metaphors used throughout the song is meant to present a message about accepting failure as an important part of personal growth. One can see that as Cypher sings that “eyes remember everything” and that “sometimes the monsters win.” Such deep thought becomes even more impacting when it is set against the rich, sonic landscape painted in the song’s arrangement, the whole of those elements makes this song a powerful work and a solid start for this record.
‘Sometimes The Monsters Win’ is a solid starting point in Young Fox’s new album with its rich musical landscape and deeply introspective lyrical content. While the song is clearly one of the record’s key compositions, it is just one of the works included in this record that shows what makes the record such a standout effort. ‘Slow Burn’ is another work that shows the record’s depth. Just as with the album’s opener, that is due both to the song’s musical arrangement and its lyrical content.
‘Sometimes The Monsters Win’ is a clear example of why Sky Beats Gold is one of this year’s top new independent albums. It is only one of the songs included in this record that serves to support that statement, too. ‘Slow Burn,’ which also comes early in the record’s sequencing, is another example of what makes this record stand out. That is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement. What makes this arrangement stand out is the juxtaposition of its more brooding moments and its seemingly more uplifting moments. The two distinctly different moods create an air of perhaps optimism outshining negativity. That supposition is supported as Cypher sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “The sun, the moon and the stars/They speak to me/They whisper with hints of personality/Every time I wake I see your face/Despite your fears and doubts/This is not a race/This is a slow burn life we’re living/A sharp-edged knife we’re given.” Cypher’s message that “This is not a race/This is a slow burn life we’re living,” is the key moment in this part of the song. Since a slow burn is something that happens over time, rather than quickly it’s as if he is saying life happens over time, and it is not a race. In other words, take it as it comes. That is a powerful statement. When it is set against the optimistic vibe presented by the song’s arrangement, it becomes even more powerful and supports even more the noted interpretation. The contrast of the song’s second verse to its chorus support that statement even more. Cypher’s refrain at the song’s end that “As long as we hold the line/Despite the night/Trials worth the fight/We will see the sun leaves little doubt about that positive message. The song’s musical arrangement couples with that message to make this song another standout composition and even more proof of why Sky Beats Gold stands out in whole. It still is not the last of the record’s most notable songs, either. ‘Wine of Violence,’ which comes later in the record’s run shows in its own way what makes this record a surprise hit.
‘Sometimes The Monsters Win’ and ‘Slow Burn’ are both key inclusions in Young Fox’s new album Sky Beats Gold. Each song shows in its own way through its musical arrangement and its deep metaphorical language how much this record has to offer audiences. They are just two of the songs that show how much this record has to offer, too. The musical arrangement and lyrical content exhibited in ‘Wine of Violence’ do just as much as the previously noted songs to show how much this record has to offer. The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Wine of Violence’ creates a sonic landscape that is just as rich and vivid as those presented in the previously discussed songs (and the rest of the album’s songs). The combination of the guitars, bass, drums and what sounds like keyboards couple with Cypher’s soaring vocal delivery to make the arrangement alone reason enough to take in this song. The song’s lyrical content gives just as much reason to hear the song. That is because it will leave listeners thinking and talking. It will leave listeners thinking and talking in part because there seems to be only one real verse here in which Cypher sings, “Let your heart explode/Let me lead you to this open road/Join me with the wolves/A sheep’s clothes present a hope for fools/I am here/This is now.” This verse is book-ended by Cypher’s constant refrain of “Let the torches burn low/Let the ghosts that I have shown/Be stripped away in sleep/Be bruised against the curses I keep.” Thematically speaking, the metaphorical language used here leads on to think this is a commentary about false leaders on the one hand. However the constant refrains present another message about perhaps letting go of the past and moving forward in life. That is, of course, just this critic’s own interpretation, so it should not be taken as gospel. That being the case, the combination of this deep lyrical content and the wall of sound created in the song’s arrangement couple to make this song another powerful work and another example of what makes the album in whole so impressive. When it is joined with the other songs discussed here (and those not discussed), the whole of those works shows fully that Sky Beats Gold earns gold as it shoots for the sky.
Young Fox’s latest album Sky Beats Gold is a work that reaches for the sky and the gold over the course of its 10 total songs. By the time the last notes of the record’s closer ‘Hearts of Men (Part 2)’ slowly fade away, it becomes fully clear that this record has won gold. The musical and lyrical depth of each song makes that undeniable. They make the record in whole a work that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of this year’s top new independent albums. Sky Beats Gold is available now in stores and online. More information on this surprisingly impressive new effort from Young Fox is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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