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TONIGHT: Chi, IL Live Shows on Our Radar-- Young Empires at Schubas
Photo Credit: David Waldman
The tale of self-proclaimed Haute rockers Young Empires is quite unconventional. Their story began in the fall of 2009 with the help of Craigslist and the creative core now consists of lead vocalist Matthew Vlahovich, bassist Jake Palahnuk, and drummer Taylor Hill, who joined later.
Within two weeks of forming, the band began rehearsing and booked their first gig shortly after, putting pressure on the musicians to write viable songs, practice relentlessly, and become savvy in sampling and analog drum machine programming.
“Being without a drummer in our formative years was challenging, but retrospectively, it gave us an opportunity to take advantage of electronic kick drums that rattled club sound systems and sample percussion rhythms from West Africa to create a diverse music palette,” Matthew explains.
Taking advantage of the proliferation of inexpensive recording devices, the band isolated themselves on a rainy weekend in January 2010 in a motel room and self-produced and recorded four demos that gained significant attention on the blogosphere and hit the charts on Hype Machine.
The upcoming two years proved to be a globe trotting adventure for the band, being jet set to cities including Bogota, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Stockholm, New York and Miami to perform with the likes of Jamiroquai, Foster The People, Chromeo, Tanlines, Bag Raiders, Sleigh Bells, and Dragonette, and at festivals like SXSW, CMJ, and Brighton’s The Great Escape.
“We are incredibly fortunate to live at a time when online music-sharing can foster rapid fan growth around the globe. We are also really lucky that our music has resonated so well globally and is not confined to any particular geographic location”, Matthew explains.
Between tours, Young Empires wrote, recorded and mixed their debut EP, Wake All My Youth. Although none of the members had any background in engineering or producing, the group did everything on the disc except the final mastering. This lends a distinctive edge to the glittering, electro-tinged indie rock numbers. The songs, culled from a span of nearly two years, also reveal the group’s evolution, showcasing various aspects of the musicians as they’ve more closely discovered their sound.
Wake All My Youth was released via Pirates Blend/Sony Canada in February 2012 and two singles from the EP, “White Doves”, and “We Don’t Sleep Tonight” have quickly climbed the alternative and pop radio charts, both landing in the top 10 at alternative radio. Additionally, the band has made waves in the sync world highlighted by multiple placements on primetime network TV, EA Sports FIFA 13, and the CTV where “White Doves” served as a theme song for their broadcast of the London Olympics.
The success in Canada has spilled over into the U.S. as the band is currently charting on AAA radio and Votiv will release a new version of Wake All My Youth on April 23, 2013.
Although Young Empires have been developing both their recordings and their evocative live performances for the past few years, the musicians feel that the EP is only a taste of what’s to come. The band is currently in the process of writing their debut album and recently quit their full time jobs. They are poised to continue to map out a unique sonic territory within indie and pop music, combining syncopation and melodrama to excellent effect, Young Empires are weavers of disparate indie threads that move crowds every show.
“At the end of the day we just want to have a positive impact on as many people as we can,” Jake says. “We want our music to be the thing that people connect to and feel good about.
Summer 2013 Tour Dates /
06.19.13 - Schubas Tavern - Chicago, IL ! 06.20.13 - The Shelter - Detroit, MI # 06.22.13 - Firefly Music Festival - Dover, DE 06.25.13 - Mercury Lounge - New York, NY * 06.26.13 - The Church - Boston, MA * 06.27.13 - The Monkeyhouse - Burlington, VT * 06.28.13 - The Waiting Room - Buffalo, NY *
! with The Break # with The Generationals * with Black Light Dinner Party
Previous Press /
“Young Empires’ glossy production and funked up rhythms, reminds us of the Rapture’s dance-ready grooves…They’re too good.” NYLON
"The mathmania of Battles, the gloss 'n' grandeur of The Killers, and the calamitous quiver of Arcade Fire...Young Empires have consummately summated this generation's achievements in Rock. Not that they're total re-tread merchants; no, they're master weavers of our disparate indie threads, forging a fine tapestry of future disco." NME
"Mapping some new sonic territory somewhere between Vampire Weekend and The Killers, they combine syncopation and melodrama to excellent effect…they’re known for winning over cold audiences with their live act." MTV Iggy
"Defined by swirling synthesizer tones, soulful bass grooves, and funky guitar rhythms, Young Empires deliver dance tracks full of swagger, sexuality, and a little angst." RCRD LBL