Wed, Apr. 24th, 2013
$14 adv | $16 DOS
Sometimes, you’ll shine the brightest during your darkest hour.
That’s exactly what longtime friends multi-instrumentalist Simon Katz and singer Sam Martin came to realize when they commenced writing songs for what would become Youngblood Hawke’s self-titled debut EP. Katz and Martin had seen critical acclaim and worldwide success as founding members of Iglu & Hartly. However, after a rousing performance at Coachella 2010, the group dissolved due to a creative clash.
“We went from massive success to nothing over the course of two years,” recalls Katz. “We didn’t like the direction the band was going in, and we wanted to do something closer to our hearts. We had to start over. The only thing you have in times like that is hope.”
With hope in their hearts, the duo began feverishly penning songs in Katz’s Los Angeles studio that summer. Galvanized and reinvigorated, they emerged from that sweaty, air conditioner-less room with over one-hundred ideas and a fresh perspective altogether. Martin admits, “We didn’t begin by saying, ‘We’re going to start a new band’. It was more of an outlet to express ourselves. It was the most natural thing I’ve ever done. There was no plan.”
There didn’t need to be a plan because their songs were so anthemic and uplifting. In early 2011, they began releasing material and booking local gigs around Los Angeles. Rounded out by Katz’s childhood best friend Tasso on guitar, Alice on backup vocals and live percussion, and Iglu & Hartly touring drummer Nik, the band hit the Roxy for its first show.
Based on the strength of the tunes and a completely organic buzz, they sold out a string of nights at Silverlake hotspot, Satellite. Soon, Universal Republic Records contacted them and offered a deal. Their first five-song EP for the label drops August 14, 2012, and it will be followed up by a full-length a year later.
Martin describes Youngblood Hawke’s inimitable sound best. “It has elements of pop, rock, indie, dance, and even a little hip hop.”
The first single “We Come Running” encapsulates that sentiment. A propulsive beat builds alongside shimmering bells as Martin’s massive refrain soars. “It’s like a personal message to the band,” the vocalist reveals. “It announces that if we work our asses off, they’re going to hear the sound when we come running. We’re going to get our chance.”
Elsewhere, “Dannyboy” is a tribute to a friend who tragically passed, while “Rootless” finds freedom in starting anew over an echoing riff and huge chorus. “It was one of the first tracks Sam and I wrote together during that first summer,” says Katz. “We didn’t have a foundation anymore after our last project. We were feeling rootless, but we were free.”
The quintet’s moniker also reflects the glorious serendipity at the heart of its journey. Nodding to the Herman Wouk novel of the same name, it’s utterly a propos.
“I was looking for a new book to read,” remembers Martin. “My dad called me out of the blue, and he was like, ‘Your uncle’s favorite book is Youngblood Hawke. You have to read it’. From the first page, it really hit me. It’s about a Kentucky mountain boy who wants to become a writer so he moves to New York. Simon and I moved from Colorado where we were going to college and immersed ourselves in this crazy L.A. landscape. It really resonated with us as a story about an artist finding his way.”
At the end of the day, these artists have found their way in Youngblood Hawke, and the path is brighter than ever. “We’ve seen the bottom and the top,” concludes Katz. “Things get bad, and then they get good again. The music is about being hopeful and never giving up.”
CALEB is a three-piece independent rock band out of Franklin, TN, founded by brothers Caleb and Will Chapman, and shortly thereafter joined by friend/guitarist Scott Mills. Stylistically, CALEB is singer/songwriter based with musical parts indie and alternative rock.
CALEB has toured nationally and internationally in coffee houses, arenas, theaters, and clubs with a variety of different artists. Their EP releases, Caleb, Trouble, and To The Ends Of The World, are available on iTunes. For more information visit www.calebmusic.com.
Vinyl Thief started years ago in the high school days of Grayson, Logan, Sam, & Andrew. They took over an old church sanctuary, and would learn how to play, write, and perform. Over the years, the music became less of a hobby and more of a dream job.
The band released the Stop Motion EP in 2013, and spent their year touring and opening up for the likes of Walk The Moon, The Joy Formidable, Little Green Cars, Youngblood Hawke, Panama Wedding, and Wild Cub. Festival performances include official sets at CMJ and SXSW.
Vinyl Thief released their first full length LP on 7/22 to a warm reception, with features from the AV Club, All Things Go, and even the front page of Reddit. They celebrated the release with a packed house at Mercury Lounge in NYC.
“If you’ve seen electro-rockers Vinyl Thief live, you know their shows are highly energized and boisterously awesome.” - Huffington Post
"They stuffed their gear onto my little stage... and proceeded to slay that room to teeny tiny pieces.” - Beautiful Buzz (SXSW)
“Nashville’s Vinyl Thief hasn’t seemed to let up, taking their unforgettable live performances on the road and leaving their mark on venues all over the country.” - Paste Magazine
"The band incorporates elements of indie-rock and synth-pop into a sound that is contagiously
danceable and completely enjoyable." - Examiner
"Fathoms embodies an escapism theme with 10 radio-ready tracks that are at once cohesive yet individually unique." - Cultivora
"...it is every bit of the masterful synth-pop joyride you would expect from the quartet." - The Deli (Record of the Month)