Yeah, they’re two bearded dudes in tight American Apparel shirts. Yeah, their MySpace is pretty damn cheesy (Influences: Dreams? Sounds Like: Childhood?). Yeah, it’s acoustic guitar and a load of glockenspiel, with Shins-y harmonies. But, you know, they do it well. Damn well.
Denver Colorado’s Young Coyotes take these seemingly simple building blocks and put together some impressive songs. “When I Was in the Fire” is an ethereal bit of indie pop cotton candy. After opening with a verseful of nod-able guitar strumming, glock/wordless harmonies and marching band drumming, the chorus is an epic breakdown. Everything but the drums fall out, and Zach Tipton’s Isaac Brock-like vocals lead a shout-along about a forest burning down. When the glockenspiel fades out of the song, Adam Halferty picks up a pair of drumsticks and adds some woodsy, rapidfire snare rim hits.
“Rooftops” makes a reference to Japanese author Haruki Murakami (“I thought I heard a wind-up bird in the trees”[yeah, books!]), and ends with a dance-friendly rhythm shift, along with bar-room audience backing vocals. “Momentary Drowning”‘s chanted vocal motif is insanely catchy (I found myself singing along the second of the seemingly thousands of iterations).
Every one of these songs has a moment where unity takes the spotlight. They never let an opportunity to add a harmony or vocal counterpoint pass. They go for the big moments, pull them off, and aren’t ashamed of it.
As a band like Dodos can grab their share of spotlight in the indie scene, it’s easy to believe that Young Coyotes could grab the same audiences. In fact, they take a lot of the same concepts, but keep them under control, eschewing the seemingly necessary Animal Collective influence for the previously seemingly necessary Modest Mouse influence.
“The Sun Continues to Reach Me” (Live)
Young Coyotes 2009 Tour Dates:
01/15 – Colorado Springs, CO @ The Black Sheep
01/23 – Denver, CO @ Hi Dive
01/24 – Boulder, CO @ Club 156
01/31 – Fort Collins, CO @ Everyday Joe’s
02/11 – Omaha, NE @ Roxbury
02/12 – Ames, IA @ The Maintenance Shop
02/13 – Iowa City, IA @ The Picador
02/14 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas
02/15 – Louisville, KY @ Skull Alley
02/16 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
02/17 – Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone Cafe
02/18 – Shreveport, LA @ House Show