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Life’s too short to listen to all of Young the Giant

and | Senior Cadenza Editors

SO, YOUNG THE GIANT, HUH?

Elena: While waiting for the WILD announcement, I kept thinking, “BROCKHAMPTON, Vince Staples or even T-Pain would be cool…I guess.” It’s probably no surprise, then, that I was somewhat disappointed with the Young the Giant pick. I say “somewhat” because, you know, it’s not a Lil Dicky-level disappointment. But I was hoping that the Social Programming Board (SPB) would compensate for last semester’s bad excuse for hip-hop with (conveniently) one of my favorite hip-hop artists for spring WILD. So after my two favorite artists on the survey got passed over for a mediocre indie rock band, I got pretty bitter. The only experience I have with Young the Giant’s music is skipping over “Cough Syrup” every time it came on the radio that one time they had a song that was (I guess?) popular. Maybe I’ll change my mind and become a huge fan after I listen to all their music.

Josh: As someone who listened to Young the Giant quite a bit in high school, I was “meh” to find out that they were headlining WILD this year. While I definitely enjoy their music, I was not, and still am not, sure how well they would do as a WILD headliner. Their music is fairly soft and chill, which kind of contradicts with the whole “WILD” thing. Mostly I was just disappointed that I couldn’t see BROCKHAMPTON again. And while I think that BROCKHAMPTON, or Vince Staples, or T-Pain, or Carly Rae Jepsen, or Charli XCX or a number of the other artists on the WILD survey, might be better for WILD, because “WILD,” I do really like Young the Giant. All in all, I’m excited to feel some high school nostalgia when they come to Brookings Quadrangle.

FIRST (SONG) IMPRESSIONS

E: After avoiding Young the Giant’s “Cough Syrup” for years, I’m finally listening to it. It’s painfully mediocre. “Life’s too short to even care at all” is the fake deep s— you expect to see on an eighth grader’s Facebook wall, circa 2009. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if this song was ghost-written by an eighth grader in 2009. Also life is literally the longest thing you experience, so what would be long enough to care about? In all seriousness, I actually enjoy their sound. It’s nothing particularly unique, but it’s easy to groove to and that’s something I hypothetically like for a WILD artist (hypothetically because I’ve only been to half a WILD). I wouldn’t say it’s bonkin’, but it sure is something. Now I need to learn all the lyrics to “Cough Syrup” so I can be one of the cool kids who knows the words when they play it. I’ll cringe every time I sing “life’s too short to even care at all,” but I’m willing to sacrifice my philosophical convictions for the sake of some sweet, sweet comradery.

J: “Life’s too short to even care at all,” the line of my moody teenage years, rings out. The sweet sound of Young the Giant is pleasant above all else. It’s nice and it has a good beat to it. The song, while a bit moody, is catchy and picks you up in the beat. While I wouldn’t classify it as a “banger” per se, the song remains one of my favorites and one that I can always put on. The strumming of the song mixes well with its percussion to create what can really only be described as a good song. Having not listened to “Cough Syrup” in the past few years, it was nice to put it on again. Their first, self-titled album is one that has been on my phone for years and one that while I don’t necessarily listen to it often, I always enjoy.

30 MINUTES IN (A little more than halfway through “Young the Giant”)

E: My favorite song so far is “I Got,” which is 4:20 long. For some reason, I thought listening to their music would help me understand why they’re named Young the Giant. I still had no clue, so I scoured the internet for answers. The most helpful information I found was from Reddit, saying someone just came up with it because they outgrew their original name, “Jakes.” The second most helpful information (arguably more helpful) I found was from Yahoo Answers user Mapplethorpe Grey, who posted, “all I can tell you is that it’s a stupid band name.” I really felt that. They might have an objectively bad band name, but their lead singer has me super stoked. What they lose in lack of uniqueness and unoriginality, they make up for with stellar lead vocals.

J: A little over half-way through their first album and I’m back being all “alternative” in middle school. Granted, the album really isn’t as moody as I’m making it out to be, I’m just reminiscing about my more hormonal times. More and more, however, I am reminded that this is not going to be a “WILD” WILD. While they have a good amount of upbeat songs, their music is dominated by slower music. The show is going to be pleasant, but I doubt it’ll be the same level as, say, Jason Derulo. That being said, I’m enjoying my romp back into Young the Giant a lot. Sure, they might not have the most original sound, but they do what they do quite well. The album is a quality debut project and one that made Young the Giant a name on the indie scene.

THIS IS THE POINT AT WHICH WE FOUND OUT MORRISSEY IS A YTG FAN

E: “If the world has any justice, Young the Giant will own it by August” —Morrissey. Honestly, this is just a lot to process.

J: Jesus Christ, I honestly don’t know if that makes me like them more or less…

WE’RE ALMOST AT THE END OF THE SECOND ALBUM

E: This isn’t a normal length for an album. Every song kind of sounds the same. It feels like it’s been hours. Young the Giant is fine. I’m impressed at this point that I don’t dislike them more than I did at the start.

J: To be honest, I more or less agree with Elena here. “Mind Over Matter” is definitely Young the Giant’s most mediocre album, and while it has some quality tracks on it, getting through the almost hour-long album is a tad rough.

THEY MADE A NORMAL LENGTH THIRD ALBUM

E: They changed up their sound a bit for this album, which I really enjoy. I’m hoping they perform a lot from this one because I think it’s the best. I’m glad this album came last in their discography because I don’t think I could’ve handled listening to the other ones that are extremely repetitive at this point.

J: Now this is the album I’ve heard the least, as it was released after I left my Young the Giant phase. I listened to it a handful of times after it was released before moving on to different music and then once when Young the Giant was announced. I honestly like this album quite a lot.

FINAL THOUGHTS

E: I’ve had a change of heart. I’m not that bitter now about them headlining WILD. It’s definitely not going to be a banger by any means, but it’ll be a more low-key, chill vibes night. If you want to get hype about Young the Giant but don’t know much about them (like me a few hours ago), check out these songs: “I Got,” “Apartment,” “Amerika,” “Silvertongue,” “Mind Over Matter” and “St. Walker.” Also, I learned through a Google search that Young the Giant sometimes does hip-hop and R&B covers. So maybe this was really the non-controversial, slightly vanilla artist I had been hoping for all along.

J: After going through Young the Giant’s three albums I still feel slightly “meh” about them as the WILD pick. While going through all the albums at once somewhat oversaturated the band for me, I still enjoy their music. I think that Young the Giant was chosen mostly because of their mildness, but WILD will still be a good time. Young the Giant has the power of nostalgia going for them and I’m sure many at this school also associate the band with their middle or high school days. They have good, chill music and are sure to put on a good, if low-key show.