“It’s not going to make you want to dance but it just might make you want to take a walk and clear your head. A little fresh air never hurt anybody.” – Youth Trend Report
Manchmal möchte man einfach ein bißchen dem Lärm der Stadt entfliehen, etwas runterkommen und abschalten. Mir hilft dabei immer schöne Musik und deshalb möchte ich euch heute die Band “Youth Trend Report” aus Kanada vorstellen. Michael Scott Dawson und Rob Morrison schaffen nämlich genau das mit ihrer Musik. Wer sich darauf einlassen kann, den erwartet tolle instrumentale Musik im weiten Feld von Electronic und Ambient. Dazu gibt es noch ein sehr interessantes Interview und den exklusiven Track “More Ghost Than Girl” der bald erscheinenden EP “Infinity +1”! Viel Spaß beim Lesen und Träumen! Norman
Indieberlin: Tell us a little bit about your musical background.
Youth Trend Report: Youth Trend Report is collaboration between myself (Michael Scott Dawson) and my old friend Rob Morrison. We both cut our teeth in the same small town, skateboarding and playing in punk bands. Rob is an audio engineer and is just finishing up building his own studio. He’s produced a stack of really great records. He also is one half of a great instrumental math rock band called Radville.
I played bass in a few bands over the years but at some point developed a fascination with sound and texture – I’m currently the lyricist and play synths in an indie rock band called Library Voices. It’s been a great experience that’s allowed us to travel the world and share some stages with artists like Broken Social Scene and St Vincent, but Youth Trend Report has become a vehicle for me to explore my fascination with noise and electronics much deeper. I can take a part I might have played for 20 seconds in a Library Voices song and expand it into a 9 minute composition.
Indieberlin: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Youth Trend Report: All sorts of places. Visual art and design are a big one. Novels. Conspiracy theories. I love living with a half finished song inside my head and then building on it with things I encounter throughout the day.
Indieberlin: How does the songwriting process work for you?
Youth Trend Report: It’s radically different for every song. The objective at the onset of Youth Trend Report was to not paint ourselves into any corners. Most of the Infinity +1 EP I recorded alone in my bedroom. Rob has this little acoustic guitar he brought back from a trip to Bolivia and one day he just sent me a bunch of guitar passages he recorded with it. I think he suspected I would cut them apart note to note and use the source sounds to create something totally unrecognizable but there was this really pure and intimate quality to the recordings that I wanted to preserve so I ended up using them as long wandering loops and built the songs around them. Last year I purchased this immaculate old Echoplex and I’ve been slowly destroying it by abusing it to build the tape textures on this EP. I built some of the other textures out of things like a field recording a made of a busker playing a harp that I manipulated. There are some transitions on the record that feel a little bit jarring which is because I wanted the songs to sound performed and maintain a human element. There’s no soft synths or programming on any of it.
With all of that said we are currently about half way through recording a proper LP where most of the songs are built around interlocking drum patterns and a Rhodes piano. Whatever formula we discover we try our best to dismantle on the next batch of songs.
When I was in art school I had a professor who would always quote the swamis and make us draw human bones with callipers and textbook energy because he believed you had to have an understanding and technical prowess before you could create abstract pieces with intent and success. I’ve tried to carry that philosophy with me. I’ve always loved ambient and experimental electronic music but I didn’t know where I would find my voice in it. I’ve spent the last 7 years touring and recording in an indie pop back and have ended up dissecting tradition pop song structures every imaginable way – so now it feels very fulfilling to create music in spite of those instincts.
Indieberlin: If your music was a movie, which genre would it be in?
Youth Trend Report: I love miserable and dark comedies. I recently saw The Lobster and just loved it.
Indieberlin: What music do you listen to when you’re at home?
Youth Trend Report: I love artists like Marcus Fischer, Taylor Deupree, and Chihei Hatakeyama. Holy Hum from Vancouver creates beautiful and stunning work. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Protomartyr, Sonic Youth, and Roadside Graves.
Indieberlin: Tell us a secret about yourself.
Youth Trend Report: When I was young I was pen pals with Alyssa Milano for a brief period.
Indieberlin: What was the last concert you went to?
Youth Trend Report: It was a local show in Regina. The cassette release for The Florals (https://theflorals.bandcamp.com). A great band made up of three sisters called The Garrys (https://thegarrys.bandcamp.com/) also played.
Indieberlin: How do you feel about covering a song?
Youth Trend Report: There is definitely a time and a place for it.
Indieberlin: Do you dream in colour or black and white?
Youth Trend Report: For a number of years I didn’t remember any of my dreams at all. Every morning I’d just wake up like a blank slate. But in the last several months I’ve started having the craziest dreams right before I wake up. They’re very vivid and full of bright colours.
Indieberlin: If you had to describe your music in three words, what would they be?
Youth Trend Report: Electronic. Minimal-ish. Human.
Indieberlin: Who is your favourite Superhero and why?
Youth Trend Report: I’ve never been super into superheroes. Can I choose Stephen Hawking?
Indieberlin: You are living in Regina, Saskatchewan. What is so special about this city?
Youth Trend Report: The people. Regina has some of the kindest and most sincere humans on the planet.
Indieberlin: The Summer is coming soon, what are you looking forward to do with your friends?
Youth Trend Report: I’m really looking forward to the vitamin D. I’m going on a couple trips with my partner which will be amazing. Next week we are going to see Brian Wilson perform Pet Sounds.
Indieberlin: Have you ever been to Berlin and do you like it here?
Youth Trend Report: I have been to Berlin a handful of times and I absolutely love it. It’s one of the most inspiring cities in the world. Also the Michelberger has one of my all time favourite tequila cocktails. I’m headed back to Berlin in September, if anyone wants to drink some coffee and show me some of your favourites spots be sure to get in touch!
Indieberlin: Any chance of a concert in the near future?
Youth Trend Report: Absolutely. I think once we finish up the LP we are working on we’ll still looking at some overseas touring in support of it.
Indieberlin: Thank You!
EXCLUSIVE TRACK PREMIERE: “More Ghost Than Girl” of a new EP called Infinity +1. It’s available worldwide on May 6, 2016.
BIO: Youth Trend Report is a content creator and lifestyle brand. Their latest activation, INFINITY +1, bridges minimal electronica with found sounds, click bait, and human error.
The project is an evolving collaboration between Michael Scott Dawson (Library Voices, Teenland) and producer Rob Morrison (Rah Rah, Close Talker). Morrison is also one half of the instrument math rock duo Radville. As Youth Trend Report they rented a little space, filled it with synths and outboard gear, and started to carve out atmospheric soundscapes that are far more focused on mood than melody. Dawson comments on the process, “I’ve spent the better part of the last eight years creating within the confines of a pop song structure and heavily focused on lyrics. I love both of those things but creatively I had a few demons I needed to exorcise and some others I wanted to exercise. There’s something so satisfying about entirely deconstructing traditional song structure and having the freedom to make a composition completely linear.”
Their last EP Discreet Encounters was released in March of 2016 and was the first in a trilogy of EPs, YTR picked up where they left off on their debut album Life Coach. Soft airy pads, warm sweeping synths, and a tendency to play with your expectations form the base of each track. The quiet arrangements also include field recordings collected from Reykjavik, London, New York, and Vancouver. The rhythms are built from misappropriated drum loops. Dawson adds “Over the years we’ve collected enough analog drum machines to fill a closet and enough pristine drum samples to fill a hard drive but neither of those options seemed very appealing to this project. Classic hip hop and break beats were such a huge part of our youth but they’ve since been entirely abandoned the world over so we set out to process them and repurpose them into something new that would meet our needs.”
Youth Trend Report also continues to build on the themes they set out on Life Coach by pulling song titles from much bigger conversations. They shape a narrative around modern living and the quest for happiness. “Call me naïve but after all of these years I still believe music has a responsibility to be responsive. Health trends and online hookups have become as American as apple pie… as American as Husker Du…”