For lack of a better term, “dance” music has long been in the process of blurring the line between what constitutes a night at the club versus a night at the rock club. We’ve seen some substantial progress made by bands that, maybe just a decade or so ago, would have been relegated to the DJ/Remix strata of ooontz ooontz ooontz-derived song stylings, as they’ve gone on to both critical and commercial success. It’s not just a niche. It’s now a full-blown subgenre of the constantly diverging Indie Rock scene.
So what with all the hips shaking and fists pumping, how does one stand out in the ever-growing sea of bodies inhabiting a once vacant dance floor? If you’re Young Empires, you do it quickly, you do it loudly, and you don’t look back.
Anchored in the real world (read: they use real instruments), Young Empires is a trio dead set on paying homage to some of the more popular acts that came before them, while insisting - convincingly - that they have every right to come to the party, too. They straddle that fine line between The Killers and Passion Pit (a little of that ooontz ooontz ooontz-ness, a little of that swagger), evoking a bit of early MGMT (just way, way less bratty). Everything works harmoniously, though, and actually serves vocalist Matthew Vlahovich’s higher register work well - it’s all produced well enough, too, to balance some disparate elements and bring it all together in a way that feels organic as opposed to fully artificially programmed. And there’s plenty of synth work to go around, making an interesting electro-pop/dance/indie rock hybrid. Singles “The Gates” and “So Cruel” are shimmery, engaging, lush, and danceable gems that take some of the best pieces and practices circulating in the electro-pop gene pool, and act as a natural, exciting progression from their 2013 EP, Wake All My Youth.
They’re taking their show on the road and setting up shop on the night of Monday June 15th at The Woodward Theater with CHAPPO, and are thrilled to spend an early summer night with new and old fans in Cincinnati. It’s going to be hot and humid outside, and we imagine Young Empires will be doing all they can to bring that to the stage and floor, as well.