Published Apr 02, 2018Young Galaxy have altered their sound, band membership and business model on Down Time — to glorious effect. The album marks the band's first fully independent release, one that deals with the emotional processes and questions that come out of living in today's socio-political climate, along with a heightened need for intimacy. Its production is warm and full, with lyrics that are at once universal and personal.
Opening with the shrouded vocal of "Under My Wing," vocalist Catherine McCandless poses a buried refrain: "Gotta hold that halo / Gotta calm that fight / Gotta heal that hollow / Gotta earn that light." There is a pull toward hope on the album, despite its setting: the lyrics depict isolation and an inherent disconnection, while individuals search for genuine bonds. "Catch Your Breath" breaks free into a chorus that bursts with optimism, while "Show You the Valley" finds McCandless urging that "we can feel surrender" over dark bass, beats and layers of synths.
Down Time feels like a balm — but one that is firmly rooted in the present moment. One of the most beautiful songs on the album is the minimalist, pulsating "Seeing Eye Dog." "Our love is a buffer to the bullshit / Is a fire that burns right through it / These days I want to lean into — even harder than I have before," asserts McCandless, amidst wavering synths and a steady beat.
Desire and longing collide on the beat heavy "River," one of many stellar examples of Stephen Ramsay's production. Each song on the record fits effortlessly into the sonic world which the duo have created, one that soothes as much as it engages. Past singles "Stay For Real" and "Elusive Dream" use downtempo electronic to refine lyrics about the need for authenticity and the oftentimes terrifying state of the world, respectively. This Young Galaxy have a message to share: we must transgress to create our own future. (Independent)