Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Patrick Stolley
We need help every so often. We get in those spaces, jammed into those spots where we're stuck. We can't move. We can't breathe. We can't change. We can't sleep. We can't feel like we're anything but a dead weight. We're just in the middle of an ocean of disassembled parts, all bobbing in some form of half-life. We look to the skies for assistance. Quickly we hear the silent reply and whether there's a sign or nothing at all that snaps us out of the stupor, we recognize that we cannot rely on the crutches that we thought were there. We're just out here on our own wobbly legs - stuck. There's the getting going part of living and there's the settling into it as well, where we need some guidance. We are there, finding that there's unfathomable beauty and unfortunate darkness, in nearly everything and we become lost on that hazy line upon and over which everything seems to fall. It's a failure in execution that everything can't be more or less figured out or straight-forward, but we are all patients in this mucked up ward of confliction and perception.
The Young Empires, made up of Matthew, Aaron and Jacob Young, as it were, is a trio of musicians that has taken an approach to its music that would lead us to believe that we shouldn't feel as if we're all out here, just wandering aimlessly. There's a desolate, deserted warehouse feeling to some of its music - as if it were coming from a gray and faceless place, abandoned for something more open-air and less depressing - but it's all a setup, leading us into an action-packed scene where we're surrounded by those just like us, looking for something stirring and glorious to claim as our own little slice. It's as if in a matter of seconds we're whisked from some sad and lonely place, a ravine of cold vibes, into a beach resort where everything feels wildly exotic and potentially dangerous. We're suddenly not lost lambs, but ready to dance with utter strangers and we're no longer wondering about how this will all end but instead about how, amazingly, this is all starting to happen. It's a dramatic shift in attitude. Selves are found and suddenly there's an urge to see what's around the next corner. It's a lust for life that's thus far been hidden under layer after layer. "Let You Sleep Tonight" is a song that is littered with images of heading down the wrong path, a broken road, where nothing's all too clear and Matthew Young sounds as much like the loveless Robert Smith as he ever does. There's begging to be held and still there's a sense that nothing can be kept in this one place, for it won't survive. A companion song, "White Doves," tackles a similar sentiment, with him singing, "In the sun, when you're young, you find a way back home," suggesting that those needs to find stability, to get to somewhere comforting, never end. They just go through the permutations, some expected, some not, all of them mostly unavoidable.