In 2015 every music blogger, reviewer and promoter is constantly bombarded by press releases, but what makes a good press release? What makes your record stand out without being infuriatingly annoying?
The press release for the release of Ripe 4 Luv, the new album by Young Guv, is one of the most odd releases we’ve ever received. It’s basically a series of boasts about how great he is, delivered with so little sincerity that he comes across like he hates everything about the modern world.
He talks of going to number one on iTunes, like it’s a given, but also “as the creeper peaking through the curtain as better-looking people sing his songs to an appreciative audience.” He talks of having the cheek bones to go viral and lists a series of comparisons to the likes of Prince, Big Star, Drake and Hall & Oates inviting the promoters of the world to pick whichever they want to help “sell it to the bloggers.”
It’s a thoroughly modern form of nonsense, it seems to almost hit out at the world of press-releases, i-Tunes and disposable music, whilst promoting an album that will be on i-Tunes via a press release and a PR company. Unreadable rambling about how great you are isn’t going to make anyone want to write about your band, unless your tongue has the potential to be lodged firmly in your cheek, then it might just work, it might just be so horrible that people take notice.
This press release says “the music industry is weird, and shallow and everything’s about image these days and we fit into that bubble” whilst aiming itself firmly at the people who don’t care about image, the people who think music is vital and still think it matters with a record that’s so unlike what it pretends to be.
Young Guv is the solo pseudonym of Ben Cook. Ben’s best known as the guitarist in Fucked Up (Or F*****d Up as The Sun would put it, fuck censorship!) but he’s also ghost written for the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift and Sum 41, runs his own label Bad Actors, was a member of Canadian Hardcore band No Warning and appeared as a child star in the children’s classic Goosebumps.
Laid back effortlessly sun-drenched Indie-Pop. Jangling guitars from the late 80’s Manchester meet a more mature take of pop-punk with nods to American-Pop legends in the vein of The Byrds and The Beach Boys. The varied musical pallet plays out behind vocals that recall the likes of The Spinto Band, The Crimea or Avi Buffalo.
Toronto! Toronto’s probably one of the most productive musical cities in the world, from Neil Young to Alvvays via Metz, Broken Social Scene and errm, Bare Naked Ladies, they even give (what we can only presume if their oldest, most bitterly hated rivals) Montreal a run for their money in the really good bands stakes!
Ben started playing music back in the late 90’s as singer in hardcore-punk outfit No Warning, a band who toured with the likes of Linkin Park, Sum 41 and Papa Roach, but who’s music hasn’t dated quite so badly as those lot! No Warning split in 2005, though have recently reformed. Ben joined Fucked Up at the back end of 2007 as a third guitarist and backing vocalist. His debut solo album Ripe 4 Luv is coming out on Slumberland Records on March 10th.
On these cold January evenings it can be hard to recall the Summer but one listen to Ripe 4 Luv and you’ll be transported to those hazy summer evenings. It’s a record that drips sunshine from every gorgeous vocal harmony.
Guitars fizz with reverb and a gently jangling haze, choruses sound designed to both be blasted out of every festival tent and to soundtrack Summer Fruit Cider adverts where people frolic on beaches in bikinis.
Dear Drew has all the energy and Smiths influences of label mates Literature but with a much catchier chorus, Kelly, I’m Not A Creep has a chorus Feeder would be proud of with verses they never got near to and Wrong Crowd is indebted so much to the 80’s it sounds a bit like Duran Duran!
Single Crushing Sensation pairs a drum machine with stabs of electric guitar and layered vocals to create a cracking slacker anthem. Best of all might be Living The Dream, two and a half minutes of joyous pop that’s equal parts The Kinks and The La’s and lingers long in the memory.
Fans of Ben Cooks previous work might be a tad disappointed with music that’s a long way removed from his hardcore and punk laden back catalogue. It’s a record that’s unashamedly pop and he sounds very comfortable in that world.
Ripe 4 Luv is out March 10th on Slumberland Records.