Thursday, May 5, 2011

Album Review: "Fortescue EP" by The Charming Youngsters

"Fortescue" was released on April 25, 2011 and is
available for purchase on Bandcamp
The Charming Youngsters are a band from Greenville, NC that's come from the humblest of beginnings in their bedrooms and attics, but their latest EP entitled, "Fortescue" shows the development that the band has had over the years.  In comparison to their "Famous For Something Magical" EP, the band has got a much more fully developed sound and seems to have finally found a niche to fit into with their music, filling the listener's ears with infectious melodies and catchy hooks.  The EP was recorded last winter in Altamont Studios in Asheville and the band will be releasing a special limited edition version of their EP on cassette for their show on Friday, May 6 at Motorco in Durham, NC when the band will be playing with Annuals and Oulipo.

Back in March The Charming Youngsters joined me for a special Bottom String Session from Spazzfest in their hometown of Greenville, NC.  Nolan talked a bit about the recording of this EP, their songwriting process, and joined the rest of the band to play two songs for their Bottom String Session.

Fortescue opens with the song "Walls", a fresh and sunny track that features an upbeat pop sound accented by clear lyrics and lilting, harmonious backup vocals. Overall it's a great "song 1" to open an album with.  The rest of the four-track EP is like a pleasant summer day: warm, relaxed and genuine. Although the album is fairly typical and doesn't really innovate, the formula it follows is tried and true.  Rather than sounding contrived or ripped-off, what The Youngsters offer on the album is a pleasing sound crafted in the spirit of indie rock. They don't try so hard as to be forced, but it doesn't sound sloppy or thrown-together, either. Any use of instrumentation or vocal effects that are considered "typical" come off as real and down-to-earth. Three of the songs make use of an odd stop that felt a little awkward to me, but the outro of each of these is rewarding.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this EP. My only complaint is that it is only four tracks long. This band deserves a full-length release, but for only a buck at bandcamp, you can't go wrong with this short but sweet EP.

You can purchase "Fortescue" from The Charming Youngsters' bandcamp page here.
Review by Voerman, The Bottom String's newest contributor.

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