07 10

East India Youth Culture Of Volume XL Recordings


In the wake of his prodigious rise to the status of bona-fide indie auteur – thanks to the release of the seemingly esoteric but well- received, even Mercury-nominated, Total Strife Forever – the question begged to be asked: where could East India Youth go from here? The answer is complex and rewarding: at once back, and forwards in time. Where TSF was a vivid snapshot of a future idea of expansive pop music, Culture of Volume is a vision of the future plumbed from the past; a kind of baroque retro-futurism, with swooping chamber melodies paired to maximalist gloop.

It’s doubtless an important step forward for an artist whose approach demands progression, or damns itself to stagnation. Culture… is a more rounded whole with a more focused vision; more vocally-inclined, oozing with confidence in Doyle’s songwriting chops and strangely alluring voice.

In amongst the oddball one-twos of Rufus Wainwright-esque balladeering and synthesised 4×4 are even further swerves: Entirety is a gnarled analogue techno offering, its successor, lead single Carousel, merely emphasising that jarring quality with its own pining, soupy strings, which in turn degenerate into widescreen fuzz.

While there are parallels to be drawn with TSF, this sophomore album is a completely different animal. While at times it may seem a step back in terms of instrumental complexity to the point of, on occasion, sounding a little flat, it doubtless drives home the frivolous lack of boundaries the East India Youth project sets itself. And so the question we began with is left again to linger: where is East India Youth going next?