Over the past decade, there’s been a slow shift in music and the actual message that is conveyed in a more mainstream sense. In the late 2000’s and into the early 2010’s, pop music still littered the airwaves much like any decade, however during this time, it lacked conveyance and substance. Instead of being driven by connection, feeling and emotion, the sound was driven by who could have the biggest drop or catchiest beat while blending the massive appeal of dance music with pop sensibilities. While that trend still continues, it’s slowly transforming as alternative and atmospheric sounds take over with singers who ooze emotion and substance have dominated not only the airwaves, but the sales charts and award ceremonies as well. Joining the fray of artists who have a desire to craft music that not just sounds fantastic, but also means something is South Coast pop rock outfit The Gospel Youth who burst onto the scene with their sophomore EP Empires in July of 2015. Fast forward almost two years exactly to July 14th as the band is set to release their debut album Always Lose which is an album that serves as a stunning reflection of who these four guys are.
When the band announced their album and signing in May, vocalist Sam Little indicated that Always Lose is their story of the ups and downs that life throws at you and how despite everything, there’s always light after the darkness. There aren’t any fallacies in this statement as The Gospel Youth have crafted a debut that is honest, open and vulnerable, showcasing their own trouble and disparaging moments that they’ve dealt with in life. This approach gives the Always Lose a raw and honest sound that is enhanced by its emotional and true to the heart lyrical approach and wistful instrumentation, resulting in a sound that’ll linger around in listeners heads for days and weeks to come. You’ll come to know exactly what we’re talking about once you hit play on the album opener “I Will Deliver You to the Fireflies” as Sam’s vocals kick in over budding notes on the piano and flows brilliantly with the highs and lows of the instrumentation, all of which serve as merely an introduction to the album.
Purchase “Always Lose” here: https://RiseRecords.lnk.to/AlwaysLose Your love was a cancer trying to force it’s way inside A plague of the things you left behind All of the walls you built for me, care painted with misery. I wonder if you realise the fabrication of your lies I watched it all as you caught fire Won’t miss the smell of smoke at all.
Outside of the vulnerability and moments of relatability, many listeners will take notice of the direct sound which utilizes the full playbook that has swept the British rock scene throughout the past 7 or so years. This is a tried and true sound and one that would seemingly fall relatively flat in a current music environment that demands variation and experimentation; fortunately for music lovers that isn’t the case here as The Gospel Youth’s sound is nearly perfect, intertwining pop punk and pop rock elements with tear-inducing lyrical culpability. While it may seem that we are singing nothing but praise for Always Lose, it’s far from being a perfect release, especially when you decide to pick the record apart at a singular level and fully notice how simplistic it is in its delivery and overall sound. It’s hard to say that’s truly a bad thing though as its beauty lies within its approach of keeping things rather straight forward sonically, resulting in a massive pay off and a record that truly shines bright.
Since they impacted the scene with 2015’s Empires and followed it up with a new song a month for the whole of 2016, many have known there was something special brewing in their camp. Whether it’s the softer moments that tug at the heartstrings with a mid-2000s emo influence or the budding, exploding sounds that offer more depth and layers than atypical Britrock, Always Lose is an album that oozes evocative imagery through its beautiful composition and highlights The Gospel Youth’s take on pop rock, ultimately delivering a brilliant debut that delivers on aspects of music that have been sorely lacking within modern music.