Sometimes stuff slips under the radar, other times you just completely miss it, and then other times you listen to an act steadily for around 2 years, only to not ever give them any credit. Why? Honestly, I have little idea.
Hailing from the West Midlands, Young Runaways have been buzzing around for a while, amongst several line up changes they’ve managed to release 2 EPs, an album and a host of singles. It would seem though from their Facebook page they’re only comfortable commenting on their new EP, created and recorded with a slightly modified line up.
Unfortunately, for the sake of uncovering great music, that will have to be ignored for the time being. From back in 2009 as part of their original ‘Thick and the Thin’ EP come 2 brilliant acoustic renditions of early tracks ‘String’ and ‘Lifeline’. Both tracks play out with a charming combination of acoustic guitar and serene violin accompaniment. For acoustic versions the songs are particularly accomplished, little seems lost through the stripped back approach. In a Ra Ra Riot fashion the violins are integral to the overall sound of Young Runaways, leading the vocals through the highs, lows and various emotional intensities.
On to their new EP then, ‘There Is A World Outside’ is certainly a leap forward production wise, the additional percussion, and brass bring the act together alongside the bands staple instruments. Whether some of the early raw acoustic magic is lost is difficult to tell. What it does improve on though is the overall musicality, everything wraps up and moves forward together whilst retaining at least most of the acoustic and violin combo that charmed many of their early fans. In fact one of the most impressive thing about Young Runaways is the emphasis they do place on the violin. No Marques Toliver but any means, but, for a band that are clearly moving in a more cohesive direction, to place as much faith in strings and brass as they do amongst the saturation of percussion and guitars within their niche is testament to their dedication to creating great music. Not just getting signed.
All the tracks on the EP roll together brilliantly, from the opening jaunty ‘Vultures’, full of sing song duets, chirpy strings pulled together for beautifully uplifting chorus’ that highlight the emotive capacity of lead singer Matt Pinfield. The vocals feel large and encompassing in a similar vain to our young german friends Sunburns. The EP continues with the melancholy ‘Leave With Anyone’, a slow buildup leads to one of the most cathartic closings your ears shall ever bear witness to. Before jumping into the epic chords of ‘What Happened To Us’, big vocals, powerful riffs, prominent percussion and a frantic energy that may well land this gem as a crowd favourite. The EP finishes no weaker with their next single ‘Closer’. Young Runaways return to what they know with an upbeat tale of love lost and moving out, the cathartic energy that fills many of their tracks no more obvious than this.
Many bands use a change of line up, for instance the ‘orchestra infused’ one of Young Runaways as a way of breaking out, this couldn’t be further from the case here. With several years under their belt and an awareness of quite the direction they want to push in, their charmingly large vocals have found perfect accompaniment. Sure the folky edge that won me over still exists, but there’s a complexity and maturity here that warrants more than just a sidewards glance. Check out some of their early stuff below and stream their EP. If you like what you hear? Head over to their Facebook for more information and/or their BandCamp to buy their ‘There Is A World Outside EP’.
Young Runaways – String (Acoustic) [right-click to download]
Young Runaways – Lifeline (Acoustic) [right-click to download]