I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for summer. And after listening to Young Galaxy’s new release, Ultramarine, I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that they are, too. This album has a sound that could recreate summer breezes and patio season in the dead of February.
The Montreal-based indie/synth pop band officially caught my attention back in 2007 with their self titled debut. Three LPs and five EPs later, Ultramarine brings me right back to where I started, in the best possible way. Released on April 23, the album features simple synth melodies under complicated lyrical construction, flowing through Stephen Ramsay’s and Catherine McCandless’ vocals. Thankfully, McCandless seems to dominate as a front woman for the band, a role undefined in the band’s previous records. McCandless’ uses her timid and fragile voice to her advantage, as she sings. “So meet me by the river / Let’s go for a ride / With the windows down and the stereo loud”; you get the sense of sorrow and darkness within some kind of summer imagery.
The album’s constant theme seems to revolve around rebellious, naive and young love; its rise and its inevitable end. The track ‘New Summer’ is celebrated by Ramsay’s dreamer lyrics and McCandless’ haunting vocals: “Hey it’s a new summer / Why don’t we live here / Like it’s our last one.”
‘Hard to Tell’’s endearing lyrical engagement and slower synths take you to a whole ‘nother level, as McCandless earnestly professes, “For you I am a gangster /Aa poison in a well.” The song continues as Ramsay attempts to describe the hardships of a relationship: “A body worm from fighting wars / It may be hard to tell.”
The opening track, ‘Pretty Boy’ starts the album off with a quick-paced guitars and drums, reminiscent of Temper Trap’s ‘Sweet Disposition’. The lyrics speak of the rebellious and undeniable love mentioned earlier: “And I know you feel isolated / I don’t care if the disbelievers don’t understand / You’re my pretty boy always.”
I can’t stress enough, you guys; not only is this album set along with my Ray Bans and sunscreen, but its probably going to be the only playlist I need this summer.