Where:Altar Presented By Verizon
Sameer Gadhia (vocals) - Jacob Tilley (guitar) - Eric Cannata (guitar/vocals) - Payam
Doostzadeh (bass) - Francois Comtois (drums/vocals)
The fourth album from Young the Giant, Mirror Master is a layered meditation on identity
in modern life, an emotionally charged look at the dangers of illusion and possibilities of
freedom. "Within one single day, we're all so many different people," says Gadhia, lead
vocalist for the L.A.-based band. "Especially with the use of social media, we're not just
living in the now - we're living on several different timelines simultaneously. At a time
when everyone wants to put each other in a box - culturally, socially, musically - we
wanted to show that there are a multitude of reflections inside everything. We don't
have to be a certain thing; we can contradict ourselves and show all these different
sides of who we are."
Mirror Master arrives as a continuation of Young the Giant's Home of the Strange, a
2016 album that found the band members shedding light on their shared experience as
immigrants or first-generation Americans. But in a departure from the externally focused
Home of the Strange - an album written entirely before Donald Trump emerged as a
presidential candidate - Mirror Master shifts perspective and joins in the post- election
reckoning faced by so many Americans. With the influx of social media use and public
attention to cultural issues in the country, people have been forced to see how their
actions, both good and bad, are reflected. "This record takes a lot of the concepts we
explored on the last album but plunges them inward," notes Gadhia. "It's about being
okay with yourself, especially in light of what's happened in the world in the last two
years, and realizing that there's something beyond that duality of right and left, black
and white. The space in-between is infinite."
In bringing Mirror Master to life, Young the Giant applied that sense of openness and
imagination to every aspect of the creative process. Working with producers like John
Hill (Santigold, Florence + the Machine), Alex Salibian (who worked on Home of the
Strange), and TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, the band purposely upended songwriting
formula and took an intuitive approach to constructing each track, always emphasizing
substance over style. "With production you can dress up a song however you want, so
we made a point of not using that as a crutch," says Gadhia. "Instead of thinking about
the tonality so much, we just focused on what we wanted to say within the song."
Proving their instinctive ingenuity, Young the Giant ultimately created a genre-defying
and dynamic album, one that transforms the complexity of its themes into music with a
mesmerizing quality. Right from the opening track "Superposition," Mirror Master proves
untethered to the mundane, its ethereal textures merging with lyrics that capture the
cosmic destiny of a life-altering romance (e.g., "In any universe you are my dark star").
Fan favorite "Superposition" swiftly climbed the Alternative Radio charts, and eventually
held the #1 position for multiple weeks. Then, on "Simplify," Young the Giant switch
gears to offer up an anthem built on bold and buzzing guitar riffs. "The idea of 'Simplify'
is that while there's so much to deal with in this world, so much sensory overload at
every moment, being able to connect with someone you love at the end of day can
make everything so simple," says Gadhia.
With the release of Mirror Master, Young the Giant hope to offer not only unfettered
honesty, but the inspiration and encouragement to help listeners take charge of their
own narratives. "Even though it may all be an illusion, there's solace in that illusion,"
Gadhia says. "Because if you have control of anything at all, it's your own reflection,
how you treat people and how you walk through this life. Don't let people feed you what
they want you to think. Do what makes you happy, and realize and that all is good and
all is horrible and everything else in between."