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November 2021

Track by Track: Youth Man talk through their new EP, 'Five Songs'

Give the duo's new five-tracker a listen ahead of its release.
Published: 11:55 am, June 28, 2018
Track by Track: Youth Man talk through their new EP, 'Five Songs'
Birmingham punks Youth Man are back with a brand new five-song EP, the appropriately titled ‘Five Songs’. It marks a change for the now-duo, with the group moving away from their “bangy, shouty music” of old. “We absolutely are distilling our sound," they explain. “We just wanted to make something that would sound wicked coming out of your speakers. A sonic adventure, if you will." Ahead of its release tomorrow (Friday, 29th June via Alcopop! Records), you can hear the record in full below, along with a track by track from the duo themselves.

Kaila: This one's about many things - mostly about the state touring can get you in. It's basically three tour stories from over the course of a year, containing themes of violence, drunkenness and debauchery. Literally, sex, drugs and rock ‘n' roll. Everything is heightened on tour and it's easy to make yourself physically and mentally vulnerable. As a result, we got ourselves into a couple of situations that would never have happened at home so it's a bit of a reflection on that.

Marcus: Valley Girl is about basic people. I went out one night to this club in Birmingham – one of those places that plays almost exclusively songs about money and women as though each are male entitlements - and found myself observing the way everyone conducted themselves, which was more or less in the same manner; guys just following girls around, drooling and whooping like apes, trying to get attention from one of them in order to feel societally valid. And girls who feel like they need that kind of attention from those kind of people in order to feel societally valid. Vodka Redbulls and £1 shots abounded, the floors were very sticky, everyone smelled of Paco Rabanne and I left that club highly amused, deeply disappointed and very angry, all at once. Then the next day I wrote the lyrics to this song. Musically, it's the closest to ‘My Sharona' we've ever got.

Marcus: Constantly is one of the few instances where both Kaila and myself wrote lyrics for it. I woke up with the song fully formed in my head from a dream, with the lyrics to the chorus but no lyrics for the verses. Kaila finished it off – it's about chronic pain.
Kaila: I have a painful illness and it's about looking for respite from that. I feel victim to this paradox where I want people to know (so I can explain when I have a shitty attitude) but I don't want to talk about it. That, with a constant undercurrent of rage, is what this song is about.

Marcus: I Don't Know is about being stuck in a rubbish relationship you no longer want to be in but not knowing how to get out of it. I'd just got out of one. Musically, we wanted to write something that didn't start with all three instruments at the same time.

Marcus: Statuesque is my rumination on the idea of what legacies we'll leave behind in the age of the internet – I was reading about the Dead Sea Scrolls and found it fascinating that all the knowledge we have now has been passed down either orally or via the written or printed word, but in another thousand years historians will just have to look at people's blog posts or vlogs or Wikipedia.
Along with that idea, the concept of ‘social influencers' and Instagram fame was knocking around my mind. I hate how narcissistic the western world has become. It completely baffles me that there are people whose sole ambition is to have followers on a social media platform who will click a button under a picture of their face. I find it crazy that there are people alive now who will die having made no impact upon the world other than to show some people what they ate for dinner, and be content with that. Social media makes people think they don't need to grow, culturally or intellectually, and that makes me sad.
Musically, this song started out much busier and much more hectic than it ended up. We stripped it back loads and it sounded better so we left it.

Youth Man’s new EP ‘Five Songs’ is out Friday, 29th June.

© 2018 The Bunker Publishing