Rhythm & Views

Young Galaxy

I don't like flying. I know it's safer than driving, but getting on a gigantic metal dart filled with jet fuel rattles my core. A couple of weeks ago, I flew to Nashville, Tenn., and the whole time, I had two songs playing in a loop in my head: Andrew Bird's "Fiery Crash" and Young Galaxy's "The Sun's Coming Up and My Plane's Going Down."

Intermittently, the end of "Swing Your Heartache," the first song on Young Galaxy's self-titled debut, would pop in and quell my nervous tic motions of the head for a moment: "The only way to learn you're not afraid to die / could very well involve risking your life." Young Galaxy's shoegaze pop has a certain grandiosity that allows their songs to insert themselves into your head like a poignant inner soundtrack.

Young Galaxy is Stephen Ramsay (formerly of Stars) and his girlfriend, Catherine McCandless, and their give-and-take of female/male vocals is perfect symbiosis. "No Matter How Hard You Try" and "Outside the City" deal in ethereal la-la-las and oohs, and "Lazy Religion" and "Wailing Wall" deal a one-two punch of '80s-style pop-song drama. McCandless' voice gets sultrily low on "Embers," and the feeling is mutual when both McCandless and Ramsay sing "please stay" as the guitars freak out at the end of "The Alchemy Between Us"--it's very hard to have to leave the spacious realm of Young Galaxy.

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