The Brazen Youth dive into their breathtaking and brutally raw triumph of an album ‘Eagle, Idaho,’ a cathartic indie rock reckoning through the depths of tragedy, grief, healing, and connection.
Stream: “Spirit Finds Yours” – The Brazen Youth
The album is named after the strange, country-club occupied, suburban town that we mistook for a rural refuge: Eagle, Idaho.
“Some go to follow where the feet align, where my spirit finds another howling dog, another muddy lawn… You are backwards, but you’re coming home.” From the moment their third album opens, it’s clear Connecticut’s The Brazen Youth have been thinking deeply about life and death lately: The fragility of presence and the all-consuming nature of absence are ever-present themes in the band’s hauntingly beautiful new music.
“It seems that people often want to fall in love and trek through life’s bitterness and beauty and come out with marks of strength,” the trio share. “But tragedy so often strikes: People die; we lose friends; we’re traumatized. The song, and the album, exist in the complexity of all this. It’s about reckoning with and finding beauty in the tragedy of truth – despite outside violence, fake shine, hollowness of interaction. When we lose our skin and brains and are left with only our spirits, in our purest, most vulnerable forms, who do we become? Maybe just something that wants to be understood.”
Achingly intimate and brutally raw, The Brazen Youth’s Eagle, Idaho is a cathartic indie rock reckoning through the depths of tragedy, grief, healing, and connection. It’s a record of life at its most painful; of our souls at their most exposed. Make no mistake – there is beauty to be found here; but this is the kind of beautiful music that hurts.
You are backwards
But you’re coming home
Yeah, you’re coming home
Thought you’d be gone for good
But you fooled us all
Yeah, you fooled us all
How far will I go? How far will I go?
‘Til my spirit finds yours in a glowing ball
Lighting up us all
She was a mother, but she lost her son
Playing in the yard, he never made it home
But didn’t make it far, collided with a car
How far will I go? How far will I go?
‘Til my spirit finds yours
Laughing without control
Sounding so dumb
Without a care in the world…
Will it even happen at all?
– “Spirit Finds Yours,” The Brazen Youth
Independently released September 16, 2022, Eagle, Idaho is the breathtaking, mesmerizing, and altogether gut-wrenching third studio album from Lyme, Connecticut indie rock band The Brazen Youth. The trio of Nic Lussier, Charles Dahlke, and Micah Rubin have been steadily carving out their own path in the alternative space for the better part of the past seven years, and if they hadn’t already found their home, they have now: Following 2016’s The Ever Dying Bristlecone Man and 2018’s Primitive Initiative (and plenty of singles and EPs in-between), Eagle, Idaho finds The Brazen Youth weaving a warm and wistful reverie of calmly churning guitars, lush, lively vocal harmonies, lilting piano, and turbulent drums. Together, this adds up to a stunning soundtrack that is at once tranquil and volatile – a tender turmoil that sweeps us off our feet. The band describe this album as “a reflection and romanticization of a prior life while coming to an acceptance of imperfect love and naked reality,” and it’s been quite a long time coming.
“Eagle, Idaho is a group of songs that come from the past three to four years of life,” Nic Lussier tells Atwood Magazine. “The themes reflect different moments of difficulty, elation, big changes — such as death, forever closing doors, but always trucking along. We chose the name to pay a tribute to Charlie’s dad, Chip. We all lived with him on a farm for years, and of course Charlie grew up there. A few winters ago, we were taking a few days off from a tour, sort of “glamping” in Eagle when we got a call that Charlie’s dad had died. That moment sort of sums up the range of emotions that exist on the record. For us, the vision is never fully realized until the album gets out into the world. I never really knew what I wanted it to be. To me, it’s more of something to capture who we were in our early-twenties.”
“It’s our best work to date,” bandmate Micah Rubin chimes in. “I think it’s a perfect introduction to how we want to be perceived in ’22 and what we’re going for as we continue on this journey. There is nothing I’d change about this record. Yes, sure, maybe Charlie has upgraded his studio a bit and we could’ve recorded drums with some better mics, but I feel like we really captured something special during the summer of 2020. In my opinion, the album showcases how we have matured over the years as a band. Creating this album had a huge impact on the ways we learned about our friendships with one another.”
My memories working on this record are only fond memories — I loved every bit of the process and feel like these songs really brought us together.
Spent some time away from the East Coast
I was on the West Coast when
It all happened
I pulled off at the nearest gas station
There an old woman, spoke her wisdom
I was frozen
And we drove that night
Through the Idaho plight
Wish I’d quit
While I was ahead
Saw a friend in you
You saw one inside of me too
Hope I don’t erase you as I’m
Throwing out your tissues I’m
Throwing out your shoes
You’re not walking anymore
I kept a nice coat
There’s one thing left to dress up for
When I come back in the summer
Up on a hill
I’ll give that thirsty lawn it’s ashes
You know I will
I’ll think of your final summer
And your final spring
I’ll think of our final encounter
Your last everything
Dahlke affectionally calls this album a record of “changing, healing, and growing,” while Rubin considers it one of “impact, transition, and growth.” The two may have slightly differing ways of describing Eagle, Idaho, but they both unconditionally agree that these songs changed them.
The album title feel into place quite naturally.
“At first, we were thinking about album names in the wrong way,” Rubin recalls. “Thinking things like, “How will this be impactful to others?” and too much of the big picture. I remember going through a lot of different names with Nic and Charlie and finally saying, “guys, let’s reign ourselves in here. I think all we have to do is think of a name that is impactful to us. The name of the album only really needs to hold meaning to us.” And with that, I suggested “Eagle, Idaho” because that was the town we were in when we heard about Charlie’s dad’s passing. What I love about this title is how it commemorates Charlie’s dad and how it holds so much meaning to us, but for others it’s just a random name. Charlie’s dad was also probably one of our biggest supporters when we began our journey as a band. In a lot of ways I feel like it’s our way of thanking him. His heart and soul is just as much a part of the record as ours.”
Someone came today, someone came to glisten
Woke up in a state of a different distance
Hard to be awake when inside this frame
When behind this gate blinding all my gazes
But I won’t let it out
Standing in your yard, I felt like I was missing you
from within every part, I just feel I’ll miss you now,
watch you on the tv, see you in the ceiling
Swaying in the moonbeams, you are like a big tree
But I won’t tear you down
If I was aware of the open outside
Of the planets and the cities and the flowers and the bedrooms
I’d go away for too long now
standing on the outside of a dream but upside down
But I’ll turn back around
A sprawling, expansive, yet impressively cohesive and contained fourteen-track collection, Eagle, Idaho is The Brazen Youth’s most sonically adventurous and experimental, lyrically profound and thought-provoking work to date. Every band member has his own favorite snippets, sounds, and deep cuts within and throughout this poignant triumph.
“Right now, I love “Spirit Finds Yours” and “Who Told You That You Were Naked.” It constantly changes though,” Rubin says. “Both songs came about in an interesting way. I remember Nic sent us the demo of “Spirit Finds Yours” and I wasn’t super into it. Then, he pushed for it and played it for me and Charlie live — just him and acoustic guitar. I was stunned. For “Who Told You That You Were Naked”, Nic and I were sitting in the low lit studio while Charlie was improvising on keys with his back towards me and Nic after a long day of recording. I remember feeling so incredibly calm. It was crazy, though — because Charlie improvised this entire interlude and we didn’t change anything about it. After he finished, Nic and I were just like “dude. That was beautiful.” And we pushed for it to be an interlude after “Saving”, which feels like a beautiful calm to the storm in my opinion.”
“‘C0w’ is my favorite Brazen Youth song,” Dahlke says quite definitively. “My favorite moment in the album is the bridge of ‘Cloud Parade.’ The words, ‘Eagle, Idaho‘ are tucked somewhere in there. A lot of my lyrics recall stories of my childhood that I like to revisit. I think all of those I probably hold closest to me — but I’ve always loved the second verse of “Spirit Finds Yours” and the story it tells.”
“I think a lot of Charlie’s lyrics on this album are reflective of memories,” Lussier adds. “I think a lot of mine have more to do with whatever I was experiencing at the time. I like the contrast in that.”
I got a scratchy throat and
It’s ‘cause I’ve been smokin’
Back in my old bunk room
I won’t have that pass soon
No way to get solace
Old man dead skipped hospice
You can hold my home down
You won’t be my hometown
You can hold my home down
Back up in that bunk room
Sister has their saloon
American dolls are
Patrons of the store
And I collect old nickels
I’m not sure what they’re for
– “Hometown,” The Brazen Youth
From the stirring stillness of album opener “Spirit Finds Yours” and the light acoustic warmth of “If These Wild Winds Are Yours” to the captivating psychedelic infusion “c0w,” the emotionally charged upheaval “1TL2DU4,” the tranquilizing love song “Linger There,” and the cinematic, visceral outpouring “Cloud Parade” (a standout track tucked away just before the album’s end), Eagle, Idaho is, without a doubt, far greater than the sum of its parts. The Brazen Youth peeled back their own humanity to make this gentle giant of an album, and the result is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
“I hope it can help people heal,” Charles Dahlke shares. “The process of creating it was so cathartic for us. I hope it can be that way for our listeners as well.” Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside The Brazen Youth’s Eagle, Idaho with Atwood Magazine as the band goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their hauntingly beautiful third album!
Stream: ‘Eagle, Idaho’ – The Brazen Youth
:: Inside Eagle, Idaho ::
Spirit Finds Yours
“Spirit Finds Yours” introduces the setting of the world that “Eagle, Idaho” exists in. Nic wrote it about a close friend and a small town tragedy. That’s sort of where the album starts.
It seems that people often want to fall in love and trek through life’s bitterness and beauty and come out with marks of strength. But tragedy so often strikes: People die; we lose friends; we’re traumatized. The song, and the album, exist in the complexity of all this. The song, and the album, exist in the complexity of all this. It’s about reckoning with and finding beauty in the tragedy of truth – despite outside violence, fake shine, hollowness of interaction. When we lose our skin and brains and are left with only our spirits, in our purest, most vulnerable forms, who do we become? Maybe just something that wants to be understood.
If These Wild Winds Are Yours
“If These Wild Winds Are Yours” brings in a new scene. It’s rainy, things feel familiar. It exists chronologically to “Spirit Finds Yours”, but it feels like a bit of time has passed by. It expresses discontentment with current circumstances, but optimism about a brighter world to come. Nothing is affirmed: everything is still in question, no action has been taken yet.
“So Afraid” is about looking forward to the future with hopefulness. It seems that when big moments emerge in life, being “ready” has more to do with accepting fear, and less to do with actually being prepared. It’s okay to be afraid of change — it doesn’t mean we don’t want change.
Change is the only constant, so we really have no choice but to accept it. This is a simple truth, perhaps even a cliché thing to say — but I think it’s often forgotten. Change is beautiful. And in the context of death, growing up, falling in and out of love — it can be really hard to open the door to blinding reality. It makes us stronger, and often, at least for me, it’s the futile things that keep me from understanding what I need to.
“Open Outside” is about coming to terms with all things external, abstract, and out of our control. It’s the first song to be released of a longer series of singles, all leading to our next album, “Eagle, Idaho”. We recorded this song, along with the others, on a farm in Lyme, CT (where we spent many days in our youth). The album is about just what we felt: romanticizing prior life, accepting imperfect love and naked reality. It’s about missing people. The song was written and recorded during Covid-19 quarantine (March 2020), when the outside world was ingrained in fear and fleeting color.
c0w is the psychedelic journey of the album. It’s the sunset, the end of part 1. Laws of reality fade, and it introduces a more complex, inner-world of color, dreams of nostalgia, and corporate discontentment.
One day when we were out on the road, Charlie got a call that his father had suddenly passed away. We were in a rustic airbnb in the snowy plains of Idaho. We finished our tour, and returned home to a world that was nothing like how we had left it. From this darkness our album emerged. The album is named after the strange, country-club occupied, suburban town that we mistook for a rural refuge: Eagle, Idaho.
“Saving” is the diss-track of Eagle, Idaho. It emerged from a dark moment in Nic’s life – we happened to be on the road at the time. It was a strange and devastating realization that led us to the song.
Who Told You That You Were Naked
This is the brief reflection of the album. It’s meant to bring forth humility, a moment of peace.
“Linger There” is a simple love song. Not much complexity in terms of themes. It’s just supposed to be happy, oblivious, care-free.
I Love It All
“I Love it All” follows a sentimental, nostalgic narrative. We wanted to make something that we could drive around to in the fall, and we thought the up-tempo, live-sounding feel would give it just that energy. The guitar and drums were recorded live together in a barn (after many, many takes), and the vocals were recorded over several months of trial and error. this song challenged us, but we worked hard, and we’re incredibly happy with “I Love it All” as a finished song. For us, it’ll always paint a picture frozen in time: of our young years; curious, reckless, and uncertain of our paths.
“Cloud Parade” marks a new chapter for us as a band. We wanted to make something hard-hitting, but still vulnerable by pairing big sounding drums with the gentle acoustic, relaying an experience of entering a newfound relationship. The song echoes a sense of excitement of what’s to come while simultaneously exploring our growth as human beings. It’s also about feeling extremely detached from the outside world, but feeling comfortable with that, because another person truly understands you.
“Hometown” is a glimpse into the exploration of one’s becoming in the wake of tragedy. Made from vulnerable and personal accounts from Charlie, “Hometown” is a story that takes the listener on a journey through Lyme: a wooded Connecticut shoreline town, and the place that we, The Brazen Youth, call home.
You Started Loving
“You Started Loving” is a track that recalls moments of Charlie’s dad’s life, particularly the moments toward the end of it. It kind of functions as the epilogue of Eagle, Idaho. In a lot of ways, it’s detached from the rest of the album. Instrumentally, we recorded it all live. The three of us sat in a room together, playing simple instruments: Micah on a drum machine, Charlie on keys, Nic on vocals. We added a few textures later on, but the recorded song is not much more than what we put into Ableton that afternoon. It’s funny, too – this version is such a wild contrast from the original arrangement, which was upbeat, with tripled vocals, and a bunch of instruments. Something about that version just wasn’t working for us. It wasn’t giving the song what it needed. That day, amid the frustration, Charlie went for a drive and came back and said: “Scrap it. Let’s start over, but let’s make it simple this time.”
We kept all our mistakes. We wanted to make it as human and sincere as possible, simply capturing the moment on that summer afternoon in 2020.
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:: Stream The Brazen Youth ::