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The Brazen Youth Offers Polygonal Indie Rock Serenity on "Burn Slowly / I Love You" (premiere)

Jordan Blum
Photo: Tobias Broucke

In making something so inviting yet subtly inventive and unpredictable, the Brazen Youth continue to establish themselves as a wonderfully welcoming and creative act.

Formed "within the otherworldly vacuum of the 300-year-old Ashlawn Farm, located in Lyme, Connecticut", nature-inspired indie rock trio the Brazen Youth made quite an introduction with 2016's debut offering, The Ever Dying Bristlecone Man. A delicate conceptual sequence filled with "meticulous threads of layered tracks and arrangements that shift within songs like tectonic plates", it mixed modern American production with touches of '60s Britrock magnetism.

Fortunately, "Burn Slowly / I Love You"—their third and latest single from their upcoming follow-up LP, Primitive Initiative—maintains that mildly quirky charm, evoking artists like Andy Shauf, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, and Whitney as it delivers a multifaceted slice of pastoral magic. (The record marks the first official release with newcomer Micah Rubin, too, who adds essential depth to the core splendor of founders Nicholas Lussier and Charles Dahlke.)

Interestingly, Dahlke notes that "Burn Slowly / I Love You" was "a late addition" to Primitive Initiative, adding: This first half was a poem I wrote. I just started singing it over a chord progression one day when I was jamming with my comrade, Sam Bonney. The song needed this sense of relief, and for some reason what came to mind was this song Nick had written in his junior year of high school. I showed him the song and told him the idea, and he was all about it and finished the tune [by writing] some new lyrics on top of an old progression. The three of us took the idea and worked it out in the studio while the LP was in mastering. Micah locked in on this song during this process, and it gave us such a clear vision. We got all the masters for LP back before we even sent this one. We had no idea this song would even exist when we thought we finished Primitive Initiative. I think we've all confessed it's (at least currently) our favorite song on the record. All this is another testament to how you sometimes just gotta go with your instinct [and] reference a primitive mind-frame.

The song's echoed opening note instantly channels the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night"; from there, wistful harmonies offer rustic reflections before being complemented by a soft arrangement of acoustic guitar strums, light percussion, and bouncy keyboard intervals. This blend would be fetching enough, yet it's the surprising back-and-forth between this set-up and its slightly more psychedelic and off-kilter counterparts that truly intrigue. In making something so inviting yet subtly inventive and unpredictable, the Brazen Youth continues to establish itself as a wonderfully welcoming and creative act.

Take a listen below and see if "Burn Slowly / I Love You" doesn't brighten your day a bit. Also, be sure to check out Primitive Initiative when it releases this August, and maybe even catch the Brazen Youth in concert this September.


September 5th - Providence, RI. @AS220

September 6th - Boston, MA. @Obrien's

September 11th - Washington, DC. @Songbyrd

September 13th - Asheville, NC. @The Odditorium

September 14th - Atlanta, GA. @Drunken Unicorn

September 21st - Winooski, VT. @Monkey House

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