Living Days was recently brought to my attention over the weekend by a trusted audiophile friend that saw their Knitting Factory show – It was that typical situation where you go to a concert and everyone gets rocked out by the unknown opening act. Either way, I was instantly hooked, so after a little digging, there wasn’t much information to be found about them except that they’re from Brooklyn; include former members of Matisyahu, CocoRosie, Lee Scratch Perry and AQUI (aka. studio musicians?); and the lead singer’s name is Stephonik Youth. Also, they live together in a church (ummm, where? I wanna live in a church!) with a glitter covered cat named Bolshevik (hipsters), and some confusing business about them taking care of each other and wanting you to do the same for the ones you love while at the same time the group loves terrorists (my eyes just glazed over).
Anyway – ABOUT THE MUSIC – if you put Robert Smith, Rick Ocasek and Annie Lennox in a cauldron – You’d get something like Stephonik Youth -which is a wonderful thing. Living Days’ new wave sound just works. Glimmering synths, rich bottom heavy bass grooves, flat smacking drum beats, dark chords and…that Voice. My only sliver of caution for Youth is that she, at times, seems to tread a fine line between honest vocal exploration and glimpses of characterization, which, if not kept in check, can come across as phony – at which point, all will fall apart. Otherwise, she sits in a sweet pocket that is unique enough to carry the band forward.
Their EP, Make Out Room, Part 1, was released last October and I’m looking forward to more.