Premiere: Love, Lust & Longing in Youngblood’s “Better When You’re Close”

Youngblood’s alt-pop anthem “Better When You’re Close” indulges in submission: Ecstasy and euphoria combine in a feverish display of infatuation.
For Fans of Anteros, Black Honey, Pale Waves

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There’s no fine line when it comes to passion: Love, lust and longing are all points on a spectrum of emotional connection and desire. It’s at the farthest tip of this scale that we find Youngblood’s latest release: Fueled by romantic obsession, alt-pop anthem “Better When You’re Close” indulges in submission. Ecstasy and euphoria combine in a dazzling, feverish display of critical infatuation.

Better When You're Close - Youngblood

Better When You’re Close – Youngblood

Pick me up and hold me close.
I never want to let you go.
Two figures reaching out,
almost touching hands.
As if that’s some kind of proof
I tremble when you touch me,
I feel like I’m on my knees.
I can’t wait ’til you touch me,
Your heart beats on my sleeve.

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Better When You’re Close,” the lead single off Youngblood’s upcoming sophomore EP Fantasy Love, expected July 2018. Formed in 2015 by frontwoman Alexis Young, Youngblood is the Vancouver dream pop quintet consisting of Young, Malcolm Holt, Bruce Ledingham, Louis Wu, and Pascal LeVasseur. The band’s 2016 debut EP Feel Alright earned them significant recognition, including nods from Canada’s prestigious JUNO Awards.

Back in the saddle and more amped than ever, Youngblood are ready to take off with Fantasy Love, launching with the unnervingly catchy “Better When You’re Close” – whose display of magnetic elation certainly feels fantastical. Pulsing with a heavy dance beat and dynamic, driving guitars, the song thrives off our inner drives. Alexis Young sings of yearning and need in a carefree chorus:

I know,
Pull me in close,
Taking our time until you can feel it.
I know,
We can get so high,
Pulling away so that I don’t feel your
Presence,
F*cked up when you’re present,
So I don’t feel so
F*cked up when you’re present,
Wishing you were with me,
Better when you’re close.
Youngblood © Mandy Lyn Antoniou

Youngblood © Mandy Lyn Antoniou

“‘Better When You’re Close’ is about romantic obsession to the point of possession – where you feel like your entire body and mind have been involuntarily taken over by the mere close proximity of another person and you’ve lost your sense of self,” Alexis Young tells Atwood Magazine. “It’s about coming to terms with the realities of putting love and lust on a pedestal, and just how quickly a person can become consumed by infatuation of the highest degree. Crippling, consuming, and it also has a sweet bass line that you can dance to, because why not.”

Nervous talk, nervous laugh.
Dusty face, and salty hands.
Flying through the desert lands.
A strangled voice,
But it feels like heaven.
I tremble when you touch me,
I feel like I’m on my knees.
I can’t wait ’til you touch me,
Your heart beats on my sleeve.

Slowly, steadily, Youngblood build to an uncontrollable climax, working their way up and down musical scales with frenetic fervor until they reach nirvana. The song’s music video reflects this spellbinding, trance-like emotional control over our bodies and minds, depicting an energetic Cassandra Phillips-Grande overcome with passion. She falls over herself, running crazily to and fro as she searches for that high. As Alexis Young reflected above, the person we watch in the music video seems almost un-human in her behaviors; like an animal, she’s hunting for her high.

Youngblood are back, in a big way. Stream “Better When You’re Not” exclusively on Atwood Magazine! Youngblood’s long-anticipated new single will be available everywhere today, 4/26/2018!

Watch: “Better When You’re Close” – Youngblood

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Better When You're Close - Youngblood

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📸 © Mandy Lyn Antoniou
directed by Geordie Starr

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Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com