End Of The Road Records’ flagship band, The Young Republic, have returned with their second album. Stuffed full with virtuoso performances and the kind of epic orchestral arrangements not seen since The Arcade Fire’s debut. Balletesque has all of the hard-hitting edge of their debut 12 Tales From Winter City but is even more glorious for its complexity and softness.
With Balletesque The Young Republic manage to keep their own distinctive sound while adopting and blending some of the best bits of country, folk, classical and even indie. This genre-hopping could have so easily been a disastrous montage of musical styles, like the last decade of Van Morrison releases, but is instead a fully accomplished, dare I say it, masterpiece.
‘Rose Parado’ is a stunning example of this. The hard-hitting vocals, punchy guitars and sweeping folk string arrangements conjures up all sorts of beautiful images of Tom Waits singing with Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire. Of course, it isn’t as simple as that, The Young Republic are truly original and have such an eclectic sound within and between songs that makes it almost impossible to pinpoint their influences. Their sound is complex and distinctive but never inaccessible, and always fully realised.
They may jump between several genres within a single song, but they use some sort of super-strength indie adhesive to turn what could’ve been a disastrous project into a coherent and simply stunning album. I could blast on about the brilliance of each and every song on the album, but I’ll leave all that up to you guys…
Words: Jonathan Wilson