Paper Bag Records
By Rick Andrade
Have you ever wanted to hear Roy Orbison tripping on acid with Ray Davies and Bradford Cox? That’s the perfectly apt description that Hamilton’s Young Rival has given to the sound of their latest masterpiece, Interior Light. The boys have been on the scene for over a decade now winning fans left and right with their energetic stage show, incessantly hooky albums and increasingly ambitious videos (seriously, check out their YouTube channel for some mind-blowing clips) and their latest full-length looks like they’ll be right at home with acts like Alvvays and Mac Demarco as ambassadors of lo-fi Canadian indie pop.
Whereas their first albums Young Rival and Stay Young have their share of clear-cut “rock” moments, Interior Light sounds like Young Rival have taken their sound underground. Apart from the frenzied “Elevator” (which was released as a teaser last year), the album indulges in their textural, psychedelic side, with box-car drums, fuzzy bass, and aquatic guitars. But overtop all of that, they continue to showcase their impeccable Everly-like harmonies which surely bring them into another league.
But of course, all of the bells and whistles wouldn’t amount to much without songs to back them up and Interior Light has those in spades. Every song sounds like the band thought to themselves “ok, we would normally do it this way, how else can we do it?” leading to surprise after surprise all while flying by at a clip. They’re also looking to different places for lyrical matter—or in the case of late-album highlight “Scruples”, frontman Aron D’Alesio is looking directly in front of him to the regulars at the bar he tends.
Young Rival has been a band that has deserved to be huge with each release they’ve put out (even in their time as The Ride Theory—fans have to check out In This City if they haven’t already) and hopefully Interior Light will see them get the attention they deserve. D’Alesio recently told Indie 88: “it was definitely time for us to have a sitdown together and figure things out…we decided to switch things up” and it sounds like they’ve found the right path to go down.