This is my favorite new band and I’m telling you all to go to You Tube, watch their stuff and then buy their CDs. Seriously. Now.
Even though “We Are Young” is a big hit (and an amazing song) I suggest you start with their debut Aim and Ignite and then move on to Some Nights. Nate Reuss’s voice is extraordinary and the rest of the trio (Andrew Dost and Jack Antonoff) play everything else, pretty much. Reuss uses his voice like an instrument and even the occasional use of the vocoder simply adds another instrument to the mix. Their first album, heavy on the string arrangements and personal storytelling in the lyrics brings The Decemberists’ The Crane Wife to mind. (It’s not a concept album, though.)
I’ve only listened to Some Nights twice, so I hope to post a more complete review next week.
In the meantime, here’s a couple of videos. The first is an acoustic version of “We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monáe)” which might actually knock me out more than the album version. First of all, Reuss and Monáe are so damn nice to look at, right? She’s absolutely stunning! I met her once, very briefly after a show at South by Southwest. After putting on an amazing, high-energy performance that knocked the audience on its ass, she was so wiped out that she could barely speak. Maybe she was saving her voice, but she suddenly seemed a small (she is a pretty slight young woman) and almost timid thing and genuinely awed by the fact that she’d just blown us all away. The second video is of a live performance of the beautiful ballad “The Gambler” from their first album.