Young galaxies don’t just appear. They are born of gases common and rare, of dusts that swirl and mix and super-collide, of ingredients so elemental that they season every object in the universe – are of every object in the universe.
Music can be that way too. Music can be defined by the collision of its influences and not by the influences themselves. And from that surge, new and vital sounds can emerge, surprising ones, at once familiar and, in a word, timeless.
Stephen Ramsay and Catherine McCandless are Young Galaxy. They stem from island roots, from Canada’s Western frontier, that place of rising tides, beach side campfires and fogged-in cedars. But Young Galaxy isn’t the stuff of island gales and Okanogan laments. There’s another facet, a cool urbaneness, the measured cadence of a city strut. Years spent in the fertile cosmopolitanism of Montreal have made their mark.
If Young Galaxy is a musical entity with its heart buried in leaves, its feet follow the striding beat and rhythmic pulses of the mirrored-glass and neon-lit city. And just as young galaxies are born of contradictions – bits of nothing made everything – so is their eponymous debut.
Song after song, we hear traces of the familiar retooled and delivered in ways we’d never have guessed at, never have conjured in a million years. They win us before we know that we’ve been won. For every defining element, the album has another to check and compliment it – brooding guitar licks and floral harmonies collide with rapt shoe-gazer choruses that transcend to an anthemic pastoral.
Young Galaxy, is an impressive entry point for a group at the beginning of their ascent. Call it a spark in the dry air of a sub-zero city or the child of a love of making music and of making music with the ones they love.
Recorded with Jace Lasek (Besnard Lakes) at his Breakglass Studio in the summer of 2005 and spring of 2006, and featuring appearances and performances by other dear friends, Young Galaxy has borne something concrete of something abstract and ephemeral. Young Galaxy is it.
Here, influences collide and birth new sounds, anthemically familiar, intriguingly obscure, osmotic or intended, ageless and utterly new. Young Galaxy transcends the micro-genreification of pop. Somehow, they have found a way back to a musical sensibility before rock was shattered into a thousand different aesthetic compromises.
Young Galaxy have landed on the rarest musical alchemy and made of it an instant pop classic. It was a NASA headline first. It holds true here. “Young Galaxy Surrounded by Material Needed to Make Stars."