Review Summary: One of the stronger indie debuts of the year. Like walking along a gentle creek through a forest at twilight.
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m very picky about my female vocalists. It’s not that I flat out don’t like too many, but there are very few that I go out of my way to listen to. Take Laura Stevenson for example. Sit Resist is a fabulous album, but I never really want
to listen to it. I know many don’t share this opinion of said album, but there is something about female vocalists that just isn’t accessible to me. They don’t draw me in. Olga Yagolnikov of Kye Kye is a strange exception though, and I’m not even that sure why. Her voice is so smooth and serene that the closest other vocalist that comes to mind is Jonsi. Sigur Ros comparisons don’t stop there, and while Kye Kye certainly isn’t a post rock band, the slow, gentle melodies do bring songs like Untitled 2 to mind. Kye Kye plays a gorgeous style of soft, atmospheric indie pop perfect for relaxation and meditation.
Gentle synths and drums mostly drive Kye Kye’s music, although acoustic guitars do come into play on tracks like “Rooftops” and “Peace Song.” Spot on production by Eric Owyoung of Future of Forestry greatly adds to the intimate, organic mood of Young Love that bears much resemblance to Future of Forestry’s own debut Twilight. Most of the songs, especially in the heart of the album, are gentler tracks, but great variation keeps things moving perfectly. “Walking This” is a clear highlight in the center of the tracklisting, a dramatic building track that brings to mind Jonsi’s “Grow Till Tall.” The most obvious single candidates come at the beginning and end of the album with “Broke,” “Introduce Myself,” and “My Sight.” Of these “My Sight” is the strongest with it catchy synth riff and epic drum climax highlighted by Yagolnikov’s incredibly strong vocals. There is no noticeable lull on Young Love and although not every track is a highlight it is an immensely satisfying listen through and through.
All in all, Young Love is one of the stronger debuts of the year and it is flying criminally
under the radar. It manages to avoid the trap of most gentle forest-y indie pop by quite simply not being boring
. It has definite replay value in any mood. Kye Kye sweetly grows on you; it’s gentle enough to fade into the background when you need it to but clearly dynamic enough to stand out amongst its peers. Hopefully these guys have a bright career ahead of them; they have already accomplished a ton with this debut and Young Love deserves to be on a number of 2011 lists.