After four years on musical hiatus, under their own name at least, Younghusband, are set to return in June with their brand new album, Swimmers. The various members of the band, and in particular chief songwriter Euan Hinshelwood, have been busy though, performing with the intriguing likes of Meilyr Jones and Wes Gonzalez. The band seem to have brought plenty of that creativity into their own music, not least in their approach to recording, Euan bringing the band songs they’d never heard before on the day and just seeing what they could come up with. The record was crafted over the course of two weekends in a home made studio in an old barn in Greenwich owned by, “an 84 year old artist and his clairvoyant wife”, which sounds more like the plot of a novel than a productive way of making an album.
While we’ll have to wait until June to hear the full fruits of the band’s labours, they’ve recently shared an intoxicating teaser in the form of new single, Translation. Discussing the track Euan has suggested Translation is a song about, “change and retreat. And about a short moment of that time. A stubborn moment when you want to push everything away for a second and work out what element is tripping you up.” Both thematically and musically, the track puts us in mind of the likes of Yo La Tengo or Ultimate Painting; there’s both a calm and a melancholy to the sound, from the half-whispered Jeff Tweedy like vocals to the way the drums sit right in the foreground yet seem to just unflashily shuffle their way where they need to go. It might just be their best track to date, the sound of a band finding their sound and learning to embrace the possibilities of wherever their music can take them.
If you can’t wait until June, the first chance to hear the band’s new material will be this Saturday at London’s New River Studio.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Younghusband?
Younghusband are Euan, Adam and Joe with a revolving number of other musicians that play with us live and on record. Our first album Dromes came out in 2013 and we followed that up with Dissolver in 2015.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
It was in a pub called the Horns in Watford. I played half the set in the wrong key, we didn’t have a kick drum, and for some reason we had a sample from Annie Hall playing during one of the songs. The only way to trigger it was by having having my cassette deck on stage which was a nightmare. Overall, not the best.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Both my brothers are ceramicists, and studied it at school. I thought that was the route I was going to take, but I just couldn’t get my head around it. I found I could direct my ideas through instruments and songwriting, and just got more satisfaction from it. Maybe that’ll change one day, i’d love to learn something else.
FTR: What can people expect from the Younghusband live show?
No bad film samples, a kick drum and hopefully playing in the right key. We’ve come a long way. But at the moment we have Rose and Callum playing in the band too, on vocals and keyboards, so we’re able to replicate some of the richness on the albums we haven’t managed before.
FTR: What’s next for Younghusband?
Our 3rd Album ‘Swimmers’ is out on June 7th, we have a show in London on Saturday 13th April at New River Studios and we’ll be doing a string of dates in June and festivals over the summer.
They Listen To…
The Necessaries – More Real.
This song is very human. It has a pulse and a gentle relentless energy. It feels like a constant loop. I like the idea of wherever you are, whatever you’re doing this song is happening.
Young Marble Giants – N.I.T.A
This song is a Jeep. Just Every Essential Part. Nothing wasted. Also Lyrically, I love the idea that nature has a plan for us all.
Donald Byrd – Cristo Rendentor
The mixture of voice and trumpet is wonderful. It’s so calming, but at the same time there is something very rousing about this piece.
Bulgarian Women’s Choir – Malka Moma
Unbelievable close, sliding harmonies. It’s so beautiful. I don’t understand the lyrics, but it conveys enough without having to. There’s a defiance in amongst the melancholy.
Smog – Natural Decline
It could be any Smog song really. He reminds of of a very certain feeling. Being on tour, in Manchester, sitting in Bernie’s house (a brilliant woman who looks after bands) the morning after a show and listening to her records. It’s where I discovered his music 10 years ago. The propulsive rhythm is verging on krautrock. Its hypnotic. Lyrically he always floors me and this song is no exception.
Swimmers is out June 7th via Opposite Number. Click HERE for more information on Younghusband.