Young the Giant has long graced the alternative world with their soft and positive energy, but they recently have taken a social stance by commenting directly on the disparity between modern America and the American dream. The tone of Home of the Strange (2016) is no longer the wistful reassurance of their 2011 hit “Cough Syrup,” but rather, they favor a more forward, direct tone, ranging from concerned defensiveness to rebelliously bold proclamations. Home of the Strange (2016) is a response to the ambient tensions of its time; it is a struggle to retain hope in a time of divisiveness. The new sense of urgency manifests itself in a faster and punchier vocal style, supported with more prominent percussive movements than in earlier albums. It is a decisive motion towards electronic rock and a shift from their alt-indie roots.
Currently accompanying Young the Giant on tour are two up-and-coming alternative bands; one is the offspring of the genre’s foothold, and the other is set to redefine it. The Cold War Kids have progressed from the stale and melodramatic tones of alt-pop “First” to the more refined sound of their latest album, LA DIVINE (2017). In it, the Cold War Kids balance their still-prevalent sappiness with a more dynamic, intriguing, and rhythmic instrumentals. In contrast, Joywave is an electric burst of power, sculpting synth and heavy autotune into a relentlessly expressive declaration.
Young the Giant, Cold War Kids, and Joywave will perform at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 6:30pm. Tickets can be found here.