Some artists seem to prefer a sound that is constant, well structured, and predictable in the kindest sense. Krist Krueger, a.k.a. Southerly, is not one of these artists. But this is not to say that he is a frantic-minded artist hell bend on chaos, for he is actually quite the opposite. Krueger simply denies the crutch of conformity by offering up a hundred different tastes and feels of indie pop that he can squeeze into one album. And this is exactly what you will hear on his third release as Southerly, Youth.
It’s almost physically impossible to write anything about Youth without mentioning how amazingly catchy and stimulating with nostalgia and glee the title track seems to be. If ever I had to choose one single-worthy cut from this album, this is without a doubt the one. But, the key point that makes it such a singularly attractive track is the envisioning of a live performance that seems to come naturally intact with Krueger’s sensational guitar skills. Of course, it is far from a direct representation of the immense abilities and skills portrayed on this brilliant release. “Suffer” is a perfectly placed opening cut that might be a better example of the journey you are about to take with Southerly. But even this exceptional track can pigeon hold the beautiful madness of Youth.
It is no real shocker that Portland, OR has become a mecca for indie rock musicians. Just as the jazz greats once titled the city of New Orleans as “The Big Easy” due to the lack of effort needed to book gigs in the city, PDX has proven itself a regular stomping ground for the modern day indie rocker. But in our times of digitized everything and social networking frenzies, the competition is extremely thick to say the least. Even within the largest crowds, somebody has to stand out. And it is with little effort that I say Southerly is an act that truly stands on his own as a Shepard among the sheep and wolves of Portland indie rock.
Youth will be available from GreyDay Records on September 20th.
Download: “Suffer” by Southerly
GreyDay Records [CD, 2011]
2. Do We Believe?
4. All Abandoned
5. Her Name Is Forward
8. So You’re Right
9. Going Down
10. Breaking In
11. Without A Cause
12. The End of Adolescence