“What a wonderful time to die; what a wonderful time to be alive,” sing Young Creatures in their aptly-named single, “To Be Alive.” It’s a shocking way to introduce a song, but it’s effective – Young Creatures grab our attention immediately, and soon enough we realize that underneath their poignant sheet is a deep appreciation for life, love, memories and experience.
Listen: “To Be Alive” – Young Creatures
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “To Be Alive,” the lead single off Young Creatures’ upcoming sophomore album, The Future is Finally Now. The Los Angeles-based three-piece of Mike Post (vocals/guitar/keyboards), Michael Escalante (drums/percussion) and Andrew Gleason (guitar/bass/vocals), Young Creatures’ DIY aesthetic lends their pulsing indie rock a crunchy, raw texture that cannot be ignored. “To Be Alive” introduces a dark, riff and beat-driven dynamic that perfectly couples the group’s vulnerable lyricism.
The band liken themselves to a “psychedelic shoegaze version of Fleet Foxes,” what with their sparse yet layered melodies and Mike Post’s resonating, pronounced vocals. The comparison isn’t far off, though their introduction also hints at bands such as The Temper Trap and Death Cab for Cutie – artists who, like Young Creatures, embrace the beauty of drone and the power of reverb.
“To Be Alive” is, at its heart, a solemn, yearning embrace of life. It’s about making the most of our time while we have it; of being conscious and aware of our limited breaths, no matter how stifling that concept may seem at first; eventually, it becomes freeing. “Happenstance happens fast. A beautiful bitter dance, to be alive.” This is by no means a happy song and dance – yet it is not melancholy, either; Young Creatures and their philosophy instead fall into a grey area, balancing the weight of heavy subject matter against the drive to seize the day – to seize every second, really.
It’s wake-up call to those basking in oblivion, and a reminder to those who distract easily. We cannot quickly forget the opening words “what a wonderful time to die; what a wonderful time to be alive.” We are helpless when it comes to our fates – a fact we must each somehow come to understand, without letting it absorb our health and psyches.
So what is “To Be Alive,” if it’s neither positive nor negative, cheerful or sad? Resilient; determined; pulsing. Young Creatures embed their release with a bold, unwavering spirit that aches and cries, shouts and shivers.
They fill it with life.
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cover © Patrick Do