Though Young Circles cofounders Jordy Asher and Jeff Rose always gravitated towards bands that pushed the envelope musically, when they met in high school they started playing more traditional garage rock together. “We just got sick of doing the same thing all the time,” says frontman Jordy Asher, “We realized that the only songs that excited us musically were the two most out-of-place songs on our records.” So they saved those two, scrapped the rest, changed their name and started on their debut work, the Bones EP, which was released to rave revues in January 2011. “It feels really good,” says Jordy, “to know that when we started following our instincts that’s when people started paying attention to us.” Now, less than a year later, they’re back to prove their mettle with their first full-length album, Jungle Habits. Where the Bones EP hits fiercely from the start, with searing feedback and stormy beats, Jungle Habits is all about the hypnotic build in force.
The first half of the album is introspective and emotionally raw, but as intensity builds, the band’s focus turns outwards; by the time you reach “2012,” a danceable end-of-the-world anthem, the album has exploded into something celebratory and carefree. Highlights of the album include “Asthmatic” and “Dreams,” a pair of songs about Asher’s recent divorce. Winding and ethereal, “Dreams” was meant to mirror a dream in its structure. “I can never remember how my dreams stop and start,” says Jordy “and when people reach the end of ‘Dreams,’ I want them to forget how they got there.” The heart of Jungle Habits, however, is its title track, which was the first song written for the album.
With its emphasis on playful, dynamic percussion, it sets the tone for the rest of the drum-heavy album. This focus on percussion carries over into Young Circle’s live act, too. In concert, the band stations drums throughout the stage, with each member playing them at some point (or all at once).“What we learned from being a garage rock band,” Jordy, “is how to rock a live show. We don’t want to recreate our recordings.
We still want to have that rock and roll energy, to hit harder, to turn up louder.” Though Young Circles can satisfy the cerebral listener who slowly parses through layers of sound, they also know how to hit in the gut – Young Circles will make you move. The band’s continuity with their garage rock roots is also evident in their D.I.Y. approach. The band’s album art and music videos are self-produced. Most of Jungle Habits was recorded over a seven-day period in Jeff Rose’s home with Jordy Asher’s mobile recording setup.
Jordy engineered the sessions and did the first mix, with Jeff mixing it yet again. “Jeff and I have been working together for so long now,” says Jordy, “that I just trust that he catches what I miss and hears the things I didn’t hear.” Though Jeff and Jordy are the only two remaining cofounders of Young Circles, they’ve recently added Antonio Gonzalez as another permanent member, and Adam Badlotto and Eric Ocasio for their live band. “I’m excited to mature musically with this group,” says Jordy, “the point was never to constantly recreate ourselves, but just to keep ourselves happy artistically.” Young Circles will release their first full-length album, Jungle Habits, on August 23, 2011. Read more on Last.fm.
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