We’ve been low-key enjoying the work of LA-via-Chicago rockers Young Jesus for a few years now, and we liked The Whole Thing Is Just There — their first album for storied Omaha label Saddle Creek — so much that we named them a Band To Watch. Today, the album is streaming in full, and we invite you to have a listen.
Young Jesus are an ideas band. Back when they were based in the Midwest, their style hewed closer to emo-revival formalism, but out West they’ve gotten woke, expanded their consciousness, and undergone whatever other perspectival changes might cause a band to write distended multi-part epics exploring the deep philosophical questions of our time and unpacking those songs at length in thoughtful interviews. John Rossiter, the guy out front of this madness, can talk your ear off about a song like “Saganism Vs. Buddhism,” but you never doubt that he passionately cares about what he’s creating.
That care shows in the end product, too. Despite its relatively roughshod aesthetic and the band’s embrace of improvisation this time around, The Whole Thing Is Just There sounds slaved-over in a winsomely humble way, like late-’90s Built To Spill recorded on an early-’90s Built To Spill budget. Rossiter warbles and wails, his bandmates drift and surge, and the lot of it feels like some shape-shifting basement indie rock LP you discover and treasure for years to come. Except it’s here out in public for the whole world to hear. Check it out below via Noisey.
The Whole Thing Is Just There is out 10/12 via Saddle Creek. Pre-order it here.