Toronto duo, Electric Youth — vocalist Bronwyn Griffin and multi-instrumentalist Austin Garrick — have released a new video for their single, ARAWA, the second off their forthcoming album, Memory Emotion. Watch it now here.
“We titled the song ARAWA as an acronym for As Restless As We Are. As we looked further, we discovered that Arawa is also many other things: a town in Papua New Guinea that was destroyed in the war that there are plans to rebuild; an extinct Brazilian language; the name of a canoe that brought Polynesian migrants across the ocean to New Zealand,” explains Garrick. “We wrote the song after seeing the devastation of the California wildfires while driving through Malibu. All these meanings for the word Arawa echoed the themes we were already addressing in the song: the notion that every generation fears they're the last vs. the ability to survive, and the destruction of nature vs. its resilience. Jason Zada's video somehow encapsulates this same duality found in the music vs. the lyrics. The physical beauty of the Hawaiian landscape mirrors the sound of the music, while the tone of the characters echoes the sentiments of the lyrics that tell another side of the story, revealed at the end of the video.”
The track—which saw praise from Refinery29, Brooklyn Vegan, Under the Radar, Substream Magazine, and more—can also be heard at all DSPs. In late May, Stereogum premiered the video for lush and cinematic lead single, The Life, mixed by Peter Mayes (Empire of the Sun); watch it now here and stream the song now here. Memory Emotion, Electric Youth’s first new album in four years, will be released August 9, 2019, via Last Gang Records.
Electric Youth’s self-produced Memory Emotion is the yang to the yin of their acclaimed debut: whereas 2014’s Innerworld had an inward focus and the immersive atmospherics of a headphones album, the new LP looks outward, exploring a wider spectrum of sounds, moods and tempos, resulting in their most dynamic body of work yet. "Memory Emotion is much more outer-world, 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,” explains Garrick.
In order to get into a more personal, comfortable, and emotionally open headspace, Electric Youth—who first broke through on the soundtrack to Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 film Drive, where their A Real Hero scored pivotal scenes—moved their Toronto studio out of the commercial space they used for the past five years, and into their own home. The studio holds the world-class recording gear that was used in the making of Memory Emotion: most notably the duo’s Yamaha-CS80 (widely considered the holy grail of synthesizers), their Lexicon 224 (a classic reverb unit used for Griffin’s vocals, which can be heard on everything from ethereal voices like Enya, to the atmospheric sound of the Blade Runner soundtrack), and their self-made B48 (a sample-based synthesizer built specifically for the new album, which houses 624 individual samples of Griffin’s voice and makes its emotive mark on songs such as The Life and Breathless).
Electric Youth will perform next at a NY album release show on August 17 at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg. More dates will be announced soon.