About Young People
Young People's short, minimal, brutally beautiful songs draw their inspiration from ancient hymnals and confessionals and blues numbers, taken with a strong dose of Broadway. The Brooklyn via L.A. trio play stark and aloof and downright frightening music: by equal measure inspiring, comforting, chilling.
Young People was born in Los Angeles in the winter of 2001. Katie (4 Hard Gulps Theater Co; Janet Pants Dans Theeatre) and Jeff (Pink & Brown, Lumen) had been writing drinking songs together in Berlin, collaborating on dance scores in San Francisco, and dreaming of a new band. Migrating south, they met Jarrett (Uphill Gardeners, co-founder of LA club The Smell), who brought his affection for noise and sense of space to the group, initially formed as a "country band", but that notion was dropped at the first rehearsal.
The trio switch instruments a lot both live and in the studio. Katie writes short traditional tunes, mining early American literature, hymnals, musical theater and films for lyrics. She sings timeless melodies while trading places with Jarrett and Jeff on drums, bass, guitars, violin, and various percussive elements. It is a spare palette that can deliver swampy, jarring waves of noise and unaccompanied voice in the same set.
Young People's music is very much shaped by the landscape and lifestyle in Los Angeles. The band are proud to be part of a musical lineage that includes the Doors, X, the Gun Club, Neil Young, and the Germs. "LA is where Young People was born, and LA is an indelible part of our sound," says Rosenberg. So why move to New York? "Katie didn't want to live in the desert anymore. Jarrett had never lived anywhere but LA, and I missed the East Coast. We were all game to see what would happen to our aesthetic in totally different surroundings."
The band take their name from a later-era Shirley Temple film Jarrett read about and suggested to friends for their band. They refused, but the name stuck when he later brought it to Katie and Jeff.
Young People released their first, self-titled CD on 5rc (Kill Rock Stars) in June 2002. Rod Cervera recorded it in Katie and Jeff's basement and the cafeteria of a now-demolished nunnery in L.A. Young People moved to Brooklyn in February 2003, and their second LP/CD, "War Prayers", was released by Dim Mak in October 2003. This release was recorded in a farmhouse outside of Olympia, WA, again by Cervera (for session photos, see www.ilikeyoungpeople.com. Hand Held Heart released a 12" EP, "The Single", in May 2003.
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