The Young Republic: 12 Tales from Winter City

Thursday, 25 October 2007, 12:47 | Category : Uncategorized
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Finally making a long-overdue appearance on The Daily Growl after poking through the recent holiday and general busyness-related backlog, is one of the finest albums of the year. It would have been just plain wrong if I hadn’t featured this. It’s too good to let slip past.

I know I’ve gone on at length before about The Young Republic, and been a little effusive in my praise. So it’s no surprise that I’m continuing in a similar vein now. The backlash hasn’t started yet. Why should it? This is a truly fine album, which should hopefully put the Boston 8-piece firmly on the map when it’s given a full release in January.

12 Tales from Winter City isn’t a new album as such. It’s more of a collection of tracks from self-released albums and EPs that the band has previously put out in America. But it’s the first time they’ve been available here, and although many of these tracks will be familiar to fans of the group, for most people it will be the first time they’ve heard them. The tracks include their three singles that have come out already on End of the Road Records. And thankfully it includes both Excuses to See You and Goodbye Town, my own personal favourite YR tunes.

To recap, although the band aren’t keen on the Belle and Sebastian comparisons, they’re going to continue to be made, especially since the Glasgow group are the best-known purveyors of this kind of high quality indie-pop. The main difference I guess is that The Young Republic are more obviously American, with a bit of a country influence. Maybe this is something to do with frontman Julian Saporiti’s Nashville hometown, or maybe just that they’re big fans of classic Americana. I know they’re Dylan nuts, and their Bob covers set at End of the Road Festival are still one of my festival, if not general musical highlights of the year. They’ve also got a big love for The Beatles (the album’s dedicated to John, Paul, George and Ringo), so that’s maybe where the strong pop sensibility comes from. In other places (like on She Comes and Goes) where the strings really get going there’s a reminiscence of Arcade Fire. So plenty to enjoy all round then.

The various YR members met at the prestigious Berklee Music college in Boston, where they’re currently based, but now that they’re all finishing up, it seems that the band’s going to be a full-time concern in the very near future. These hugely talented young folks are a pretty tight unit, and seemed to arrive fully formed over here this summer. I know they impressed a good few folks at the End of the Road Festival last month. And I’m sure they’re going to impress a whole lot more in the very near future.

Download: The Young Republic – Goodbye Town
Download: The Young Republic – She Comes and Goes

12 Tales from Winter City is out on general release in January on End of the Road Records, but Rough Trade have a batch of upfront copies. Get yours now, or you’ll have to wait! You can still get two of the 7 inch singles from Rough Trade too (Blue Skies has sold out).

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