Out this week is the second album from The Young Republic. Having seen two of their three sets at End of The Road in 2007 and snapping up a copy of debut "12 Tales From Winter City" at the time, I've been looking forward to this release for some time.
Even on first listen, it is a different beast from that earlier record. Whilst there was a melodic, almost dreamy, quality to their take on folk Americana for their debut, "Balletesque" is a more confident, complex and punchier affair that packs a dense, panaromic variety into its 11 tracks. The cover alone suggests darker territory.
Here's what Rough Trade say: "The second album from The Young Republic is a more mature release with stronger songwriting and musicianship. Gone are the Dexy's influences and in its place is a classic sound that sits somewhere between prime Wilco and Dylan. In 2008 The Young Republic returned to their Sky Mountain studio in Nashville to start afresh... the subject matter of 'Balletesque' mines the depths of the American historical consciousness, past and present. Characters of salesmen, bootleggers, preachers, outlaws, western poets, actors, in settings of depression era New England, bloody, war-rattled Texas and mid-century Middle America"
After a couple of listens it is weaving its charms on me and this will only continue. From the gentle balladry of 'Napoleon Roses' to the rum-sodden blues-funk of 'Black Duck Blues' to the autumnal wistfulness of 'Sam Clemens', this is not an immediate record but one that is ultimately richly rewarding. If ordered from Rough Trade it comes with a bonus CD of four exclusive tracks.
And The Young Republic are hitting the UK soon starting at Swn Festival on 22 October and then continuing. Sadly like their last visit to Manchester, I am away whilst they are here. Thank goodness, I've at least got the record to console myself.
23rd October: BIRMINGHAM, The Rainbow [BUY TICKETS]
24th October: COVENTRY, Taylor John's House [BUY TICKETS]
26th October: LEEDS, The Brudenell Social Club [BUY TICKETS]
28th October: GLASGOW, Nice n' Sleazy [BUY TICKETS]
29th October: MANCHESTER, Dulcimer Folk Bar [BUY TICKETS]
30th October: MIDDLESBROUGH, Westgarth Social Club [BUY TICKETS]
31st October: NEWCASTLE, The Cumberland Arms [BUY TICKETS]
1st November: BRISTOL, Thekla [BUY TICKETS]
2nd November: LONDON, Cargo [BUY TICKETS]
THE ALCHEMIST (removed)
The Young Republic
Balletesque [BUY or BUY]