Brothers Young – Friendly Guest

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Brothers Young are just that: a Portland, Oregon band whose members include three brothers surnamed Young. Like many of their Portland-based brethren, this band is large in size (with seven members), they play folky, unconventional pop songs, and they aren’t afraid of using non-rock instruments like banjo and ukulele. They are at their best on their new track ‘Friendly Guest’ which is a mid-tempo, nearly four-minute song built around a single chord sequence. In lesser hands, this would have been a recipe for boredom. In the hands of Brothers Young, it is an opportunity to show just how much can be done with two chords. Each element of the song comes together to achieve this effect. The drummer starts with a basic backbeat, gradually adding little flourishes here and there until you realize, wait!, he’s playing an entirely different part now. The guitar adds an interesting phase effect about halfway through, changing the entire feel of the song. The bass cuts out for a verse, allowing for previously buried, dreamy elements to come to the forefront. All throughout, little bits cut in and out: a ukulele here, another lead guitar part there, an organ elsewhere. Overall, not since The Smiths ‘Ask’ have I heard a band do so much with so few chords. In fact, I didn’t even realize until about the tenth listen that the song was as structurally simple as it was. That’s the sign of a seriously good pop song. Jeremy Jensen

Brothers Young – Friendly Guest

More Info: Official
Buy Songs: Brothers Young
Year: 2011

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