Right about now, at the South by Southwest (SXSW) showcase at M for Montreal hosted at Sala Rossa, there’s an empire rising. That’s Young Empires, three young men from Toronto who’ve been expanding their sphere of influence rapidly since their formation in 2009. A recent tour with Chromeo made Young Empires a name amongst retro-loving, forward-thinking pop fans, and their headline status at SXSW should only bolster their buzz in the local scene and beyond.
Highly influenced by Pitchforker groups of the recent past, Young Empires wear their influences on their immaculate sleeves. Music journos have struggled to compare Young Empires to bands as disparate as The Killers, Arcade Fire, MGMT and Cut Copy. Not bad for a band who has yet to even release an EP, much less a full album. Older reviews mention a certain tropical vibe to their tunes, but that’s not as apparent as the genre-blurring explorations into chillwave and indie dance-rock they’re currently pushing, which fits them well into the local scene.
Of course, the groups above have mighty shoes to fill for an upstart group in an overpopulated scene, but the comparisons don’t only describe Young Empires‘ sound — they reflect the group’s chameleonic ability to absorb and blend their influences and produce something that gels. While it all comes off as a bit calculated, and not near as rowdy as their “sexy music for sexy people” ad-line would have you believe, Young Empires seems to be on the right track — and what did they say about all roads leading to Rome?
Young Empires’ music is hard to find at the moment — they’ve tightened their tyrant’s grip on music blogs in anticipation of their upcoming EP — but you can get a taste of their sound on their Myspace and on Youtube where their videos proliferate.