ALBUM REVIEW: Young & Sick – Brother


ALBUM REVIEW: Young & Sick - Brother

Musician and visual artist Young & Sick – the project of Dutch artist Nick van Hofwegen, releases his new album, BROTHER, via B3SCI Records. Written and recorded in a cabin in Vermont with Luke Woods, Young & Sick’s bandmate and musical director, the album was inspired by Woods’ near-death experience, revealing the evanescence of life.

Young & Sick shares, “We made ‘BROTHER’ in the summer of 2019. After a few years of slow rambling around Los Angeles, Nick had just moved back east, and Luke was convalescing after a nasty bit of blunt force trauma and septic shock.

“Above everything else -the joy of being reunited, the fear of separation, our shared and obscure musical obsessions (shoutout to SpaceArk)- we wanted to make an album of songs that made us giggle like schoolboys. An album we hope approaches both the weirdness and the timelessness of our love. Stay safe out there, sweethearts.”

Like a few other artists, Young & Sick Over the past year, Young & Sick has entered the rarified realm of audio-visual NFT Space, exploring its potential for visual artists and creatives. He recently partnered with Goldflyer to design artwork for an NFT campaign to benefit the National Independent Venue Association, raising $250,000 for venues struggling with the pandemic.

Along with introducing an NFT, Fanclub, Young & Sick will exhibit at NFT.NYC in November and is entering metaverse gaming with plans to build in Sandbox.

Born in Southern Holland, Nick dropped out of art school because of its cookie-cutter tendency, followed by fate or luck or providence intervening. Comedian Andy Dick became Nick’s first client, followed by Mark Foster’s band, Foster the People, asking Nick to design the artwork for their debut album.

Since then, Young & Sick has created original works for Bonnaroo Festival, President Obama and the White House Creative Alliance, Burton, The FADER, Rag & Bone, Mikky Ekko, T. Mills, Skrillex, MeUndies. He’s shared the stage with Chance The Rapper and The Knocks, was featured in an Apple Watch ad and performed at major festivals, including Coachella, Austin City Limits, and SXSW.

Embracing 10-tracks, entry points on BROTHER include “BRANDY,” a shimmering alt-pop tune featuring a lusciously creamy falsetto. “MONDAY’ opens on an austere, elegant piano topped by the velvety falsetto, tantalizing in its wistful nuances. A thumping kick drum supports soft layers of iridescent textures, fusing R&B aromas with jazz flavours.

“ANGELS” rolls out on a retro-flavoured piano flowing into delicious jazz tangs melded with vague hints of emo hip-hop. A personal favourite, “MIDNIGHT BLUE”, travels on a sparkling classical jazz piano segueing to reverberating deep tones, followed by psychedelic guitars.

A posh classical violin begins “CICADAS” and then takes on rippling, plucking strings accented by nursery rhyme colouration. Reminiscent of Queen, “CICADAS” offers luscious baroque operatic textures. Whereas the title track, “BROTHER”, blends jazz and hip-hop-lite into a dazzling tune conjuring up memories of Steely Dan covering Post Malone, only more cashmere and brimming with tasty jazz surfaces.

The final track, “THE LAWN,” is beautifully wrought, offering plush, soft hues topped by opulent vocals. BROTHER is, put, superb.

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Xsnoize Author
Randall Radic 223 Articles
Randy Radic lives in Northern California where he smokes cigars, keeps snakes as pets, and writes about music and pop culture. Fav artists/bands: SpaceAcre, Buddy Miller, Post Malone, Tool, Smashing Pumpkins, Korn, and he’s a sucker for female-fronted dream-pop bands.

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