It's sunny, we've got three day weeks – life's pretty good. Let's throw some trumpets, chamber pop and violin riffs into the mix! Welcome to Birmingham six-piece Young Runaways. In the studio with them this week was engineer, Chris McManus to tell us about the day.
Considering I was singing one of their tracks before the band had so much as unpacked an instrument speaks volumes about how catchy and memorable their music is. Combined with the fact that they brought both brass and strings with them, they had me as excited as a kid in a toy shop from an engineer's point of view.
After speaking to the band for a while I found some interesting surprises. They have only been a complete line up for less than a year, they had their EP mastered by the legendary engineer Alan Douches (Sufjan Stevens, The Twilight Sad, Frightened Rabbit) and they recorded it themselves in singer Matthew's house!
The track they played for us was Morning Rush. Complete with mini orchestra, the track is elevated to an epic cresendo of delicately balanced power and melody.
I asked Matthew how they came to be this now concrete line up...
"Me and Tom (the drummer) are brothers and Lucy (the violin player) is my girlfriend so that accounts for the Wolverhampton end of things! We met Bilby (posh Alan Partridge ha ha classic) first through a friend of a friend when we were looking for a brass player. He was in a band called July days in which Harriet was the lead singer so when they split we asked if she'd join.
"She was already familiar with the material 'cos she'd been to a few shows and I knew she was both super cool and talented because I recorded The July Days' debut EP with her. Ben (the bass player) and I met through a mutual friend who plays in a band from Birmingham that we did some shows with. Ben happened to be looking for a band when we needed a bass player so it worked perfectly."
Matthew quoted his main song writing influences as John Lennon, James Taylor, The Wonderstuff, Cat Stevens and Fleetwood Mac. I also quizzed him on the decision to go with brass in the line up as these days, its quite rare (and a first for The Amazing Sessions!)
"It fits somewhere in the middle sonically so it works well. I wanted to have instruments other than guitars in the band 'cos a lot of the bands/records that I like explore other textures and arrangements even though at the core they are basically a guitar band. The obvious one is Arcade Fire but more important to me are artists like The Wonderstuff, The Beatles, James Taylor."
This comes though most on the track What Happened To Us? which has elements of The Beatles' A Day In The Life orchestration and a violin riff - yes that's right - a violin RIFF!!
Other tracks we captured on the day included the Amazing Chart entry, and amazing favorite, Closer, as well as an exclusive new track Told You I'd Be Here featuring backing vocals from trumpet player Harriet. The combination of her and Matt's boy/girl vocals and yet more epic string riffs from Lucy, takes the track on a journey through both an intimate and grande texture. And again, a chorus that will no doubt stick with you for a while!
To finish off the day we took the band to the hub of art and music in Newcastle Upon Tyne - the Ouseburn Valley where they were nice enough to perform a stripped back version of Vultures for us... And a weird kid with a scooter.
Young Runaways are packing their year full of gigs and beginning work on their next release leading up to a full length album.
To hear more from their debut EP go to the band's amazingtunes.com profile.