One of the most anticipated releases for the rest of the year is the upcoming EP from Youngblood, Fantasy Love. So naturally, I jumped at the chance to see the Vancouver quintet of Malcolm Holt, Bruce Ledingham, Louis Wu, Pascal LeVasseur, and, of course, Alexis Young playing the new album from front-to-back at a session at Vancouver’s Blue Light Studio.
With the cozy studio packed with fans (and cameras filming for the Blue Light Sessions), they started off with the first single from the album, "Better When You’re Close", a sultry song that has been intermittently stuck in my head since they released it. Living up to their tagline of "what the 60's thought the future would sound like", the new album was full of dark, dreamy pop songs like the fittingly titled "Dark Place", and few other bands could transition as seamlessly from a song about falling in love with a stripper to one about getting high at the Harry Potter theme park. To round out the first half of the evening, Alexis -- inspired by the Kevin Drew Side Door show earlier in the week -- went over to the piano in the room for a nice cover of an old Stars song, "Tonight".
After a brief intermission, they were back for a second set of songs from their previous album, Feel Alright. Starting with "Broken English" they included my favourite from that release, the steamy "Alone With You", and their fantastic cover of Bloc Party’s "Positive Tension". Even on a smaller stage (the "stage" being just a portion of the room, the band on the same level as the audience) Young had an undeniable and captivating stage presence, and connection to the audience. Sometimes literally, as with the last song of the night, "Easy Nothing" which saw her going into the crowd before the explosive finale.
Before the set ended, they promised Fantasy Love would be out real soon, that there would be some more news on the horizon, and they’ll be opening for Portugal. The Man and Broken Social Scene at Deer Lake Park this weekend(!). And especially after the preview of the new EP, I'm looking forward to finding out what's next.