ELECTRIC YOUTH – The Life

Cinematic synth-pop

Following their success as part of the soundtrack to the cult film Drive and subsequent release of their 2014 album Innerworld (see TEC review previously), Canadian duo Electric Youth have been dabbling in a number of other musical ventures.

As Electric Youth, Austin Garrick and Bronwyn Griffin have developed an obvious love for analogue synth sounds. There’s a warm, emotional heart to their compositions as evidenced on Innerworld tracks such as ‘Runaway’ and ‘Without You’.

Unsurprisingly, the duo have continued to work with film director Nicholas Winding-Refn, including work on the soundtrack to his film The Neon Demon and also the ‘lost’ soundtrack to the film Breathing.

Winding-Refn is, of course, best known for Drive, the cult film that garnered universal acclaim. ‘A Real Hero’, which was a collaborative effort between Electric Youth and French artist College, became the signature tune for Drive (a film that’s become as acclaimed for its outsider narrative as well as its sythwave-tinged soundtrack).

Electric Youth were also recruited on remix duties for the release of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s async remodels – an album of remixes that also included talents such as Jóhann Jóhannsson, S U R V I V E and Cornelius.

Coming up to date, Electric Youth have now released a new single (ahead of a forthcoming new album) titled ‘The Life’, which showcases where the duo currently are in terms of their own electronic endeavours.

As a track, its got all the signature Electric Youth elements with brooding synth rhythms and Griffin’s breathy vocal delivery. There’s also a cinematic quality to the polished tune that seems like a natural crossover from their soundtrack work.

‘The Life’ is the first track to be culled from forthcoming album Memory Emotion, the follow-up to Innerworld. “Memory Emotion is much more outer-world” commented Garrick in the album’s press release, “an album focused on the external world we live in and the way in which we interact with the world as a result of the emotions attached to our memories.”

Innerworld was finding that sense of self, developing and establishing a viewpoint, and Memory Emotion is us taking that viewpoint with us out into the world. ‘The Life’ encapsulates the spectrum of that experience, from the dark to the light, the birth and rebirth, the destruction, degeneration and regeneration of living things on our planet, the home to all greedy megalomaniacs and generous martyrs alike. There really is a strong link between music and memory and emotion, and Memory Emotion is what we came up with for that link.”

But for now, listeners can indulge in the lush synth tones of ‘The Life’ and prepare for more Electric Youth goodness to follow.


‘The Life’ is out now.
Memory Emotion is due for release on 9th August on the Last Gang label.

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Paul Browne

Paul spent his formative years indulging in fanzine culture before branching out to graphic and web design in later years via his Arc23 outlet. Responsible for the creation of the original Official OMD Website, Paul also spent over 10 years administrating the site as well as providing sleeve notes for many of the OMD reissues.

Publications that have featured his contributions include Electronic Sound, Metro, Japan Update Weekly, J-Pop Go, Wavegirl and OMD Messages.
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