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      February 8, 2019

      Friday   9:00 PM

      215 North Lumpkin Street
      Athens, Georgia 30606

      Young The Giant

      with Sure Sure
      Sameer Gadhia (vocals) - Jacob Tilley (guitar) - Eric Cannata (guitar/vocals) Payam Doostzadeh (bass) - Francois Comtois (drums/vocals)The fourth album from Young the Giant, Mirror Master is a layered meditation onidentity in modern life, an emotionally charged look at the dangers of illusion andpossibilities of freedom. Within one single day, were all so many differentpeople, says Gadhia, lead vocalist for the L.A.-based band. Especially with the useof social media, were not just living in the nowwere living on several differenttimelines simultaneously. At a time when everyone wants to put each other in aboxculturally, socially, musicallywe wanted to show that there are a multitudeof reflections inside everything. We dont have to be a certain thing; we cancontradict ourselves and show all these different sides of who we are.Mirror Master arrives as a continuation of Young the Giants Home of the Strange, a2016 album that found the band members shedding light on their sharedexperience as immigrants or first-generation Americans. But in a departure fromthe externally focused Home of the Strangean album written entirely beforeDonald Trump emerged as a presidential candidateMirror Master shiftsperspective and joins in the post-election reckoning faced by so many Americans.With the influx of social media use and public attention to cultural issues in thecountry, people have been forced to see how their actions, both good and bad, arereflected. This record takes a lot of the concepts we explored on the last album butplunges them inward, notes Gadhia. Its about being okay with yourself,especially in light of whats happened in the world in the last two years, andrealizing that theres something beyond that duality of right and left, black andwhite. The space in-between is infinite.In bringing Mirror Master to life, Young the Giant applied that sense of opennessand imagination to every aspect of the creative process. Working with producerslike John Hill (Santigold, Florence + the Machine), Alex Salibian (who worked onHome of the Strange), and TV on the Radios Dave Sitek, the band purposelyupended songwriting formula and took an intuitive approach to constructing eachtrack, always emphasizing substance over style. With production you can dress upa song however you want, so we made a point of not using that as a crutch, saysGadhia. Instead of thinking about the tonality so much, we just focused on whatwe wanted to say within the song.Proving their instinctive ingenuity, Young the Giant ultimately created agenre-defying and dynamic album, one that transforms the complexity of itsthemes into music with a mesmerizing quality. Right from the opening trackSuperposition, Mirror Master proves untethered to the mundane, its etherealtextures merging with lyrics that capture the cosmic destiny of a life-alteringromance (e.g., In any universe you are my dark star). Then, on Simplify, Youngthe Giant switch gears to offer up an anthem built on bold and buzzing guitar riffs.The idea of Simplify is that while theres so much to deal with in this world, somuch sensory overload at every moment, being able to connect with someone youlove at the end of day can make everything so simple, says Gadhia.Themes of love and connection imbue many songs on Mirror Master, includingCall Me Back (a nostalgia-soaked track that conjures teenage longing in itsdreamy guitar lines) and You + I (on which Gadhia expresses lovestruckfascination in lyrics like I wanna know why you hide in your hair/Where do yougo when you glide down the stairs?). But on Heat of the Summer, Young theGiant push into darker terrain, an element brilliantly contrasted by bright guitartones and high-powered rhythms. On first listen it might feel like a summer song,but the lyrics look at dealing with depression and trying to find the control thatonce helped you get through the day, says Gadhia. Its so common to seesomeone who seems happy and like theyve got their whole lives together, whenreally they feel lost and alone. From there, Young the Giant flip the script withOblivion, a track whose moody urgency belies the serene acceptance at the heartof the lyrics. That song came from thinking about how the idea of oblivion ornothingness doesnt have to be negative, if you dont attach so much weight to it,says Gadhia. Its about coming to peace with the inevitability of oblivion, andfeeling some sort of hope for togetherness.On the glorious title track, Young the Giant close out Mirror Master with anemphatic message of self-reliance. Inspired in part by Italo Calvinos experimentalnovel If on a Winters Night a Traveler, Mirror Master surges forward with limitlessenergy and a litany of edifying lyrics (And when you hit disaster/The answer willbe yours to find/Youre the mirrors master/Now forever Im resigned). After allthe emotional ups and downs of the record, we wanted to end on somethingreaffirming, like a mantra, Gadhia says. Its driving home the point that this isyour life and your story, and its all up to you to make the rules and do what youwant with it.Throughout Mirror Master, Young the Giant move through an immense scope ofsounds: the gauzy sprawl and choir-like harmonies of Darkest Shade of Blue, thestring-laced reverie of Glory, the brisk beat of Brothers Keeper and discojangle of Tightrope, the delicate psychedelia of Panoramic Girl. Along withshowcasing Gadhias nuanced yet powerful vocalsan instrument praised by theNew York Times as one of the great contemporary rock voicesthe albumunderscores the uncompromising intensity thats earned Young the Giant adevoted following and long captivated audiences at their kinetic live shows.Although Mirror Master was partly informed by recent life events like themarriages of several band membersand the ensuing urge to look both inwardand toward the futurethe albums introspective depth also stems from some verydeliberate self-examination in their songwriting. Its easy to hide behind theplatitudes that generations of rock & roll music have laid out for us, says Gadhia.Hip-hop has done a good job of separating from those platitudes and being morereal, and thats what were trying to do too: be true to ourselves, and know thatthere are people out there who want to see that honesty in our music.With the release of Mirror Master, Young the Giant hope to offer not onlyunfettered honesty, but the inspiration and encouragement to help listeners takecharge of their own narratives. Even though it may all be an illusion, theres solacein that illusion, Gadhia says. Because if you have control of anything at all, itsyour own reflection, how you treat people and how you walk through this life.Dont let people feed you what they want you to think. Do what makes you happy,and realize and that all is good and all is horrible and everything else in between.

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