Published January 13, 2010
It’s not too often you see a band throwing its debut CD release party on the same night as their final show, but that was the scene at Cock & Bull on Saturday night. The six members of Youth, all relatively fresh out of high school, finished hand-stamping the cases and handwriting the inserts of their self-titled LP just hours before singer/mandolinist Sam Robertson would perform her final gig with the band. She took off for the Lone Star State Sunday morning to attend the University of North Texas, but Saturday night, at least, music was priority number one.
Youth originally formed when Robertson went to see a Finkle show at Pastimes but was too young to get in, so the band had her play the set with them. That combo, along with members from Forgetful Elephant, ultimately turned into Superband, which later became Youth. Their first few gigs were pretty rough, but they melded into a tight project after a few months of practice. Now their live shows are an eclectic mix of offset vocal harmonies and indie-folk riffs. Robertson is the standout singer, with a strikingly clean, soft vibrato that makes you close your eyes and smile. But the LP proves that vocal talent comes in many forms, and there’s plenty of it among the other members. They all take turns singing their own tunes, and each voice seems to fit the individual tracks best.
The lyrics on the album are a testament to how poignant young writers can be these days. The songs are sincere, and you can hear genuine heartbreak. How they managed to experience it already is the question. But there’s plenty of goofy moments that remind you they’re just kids having fun. That fact is obvious as you watch their teen fan club, bunched together freezing on the CNB back porch, singing every word to every song, as Robertson belts out, “I dreamt that I had freedom.” The show ended with a touching group hug, consisting of pretty much the whole porch, with the tearful chorus of “Meadow Creek” ringing out in unity: “I know this place wasn’t meant to be a home / But, God damn, it feels like one.”
Find out more information about Youth’s new LP at myspace.com/youthsounds.