Gold & Youth

Gold & Youth

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Are dreams the stuff of liberation, of beauty and freedom and life and future? Or are they a dose of painkiller that enables normalcy, a carrot perpetually dangling on a miles-long stick? This is the anxious central tension of Dream Baby, the long-awaited sophomore record from Vancouver’s Gold & Youth. “Is it a positive or a negative that we can kind of delude ourselves?” asks front person and primary songwriter Matthew Lyall. “It’s both.” Dream Baby, due November 5 via Paper Bag Records, maps these complexities over a sharp, saccharine web of sounds: Bowie-ish art-rock (Maudlin Days (Robocop)), Leonard Cohen’s sardonic piano wit, throbbing new wave (Dying In LA), and alt-pop that darts between arena ambition and bedroom cynicism (The Worse The Better). Lyall’s vision here is sprawling and maximalist with a healthy hint of the apocalyptic and the absurd—an aesthetic and tonal match for our times. It’s a fitting melange for a record that ricochets, dazed, past the horrors of extraction capitalism, imperialism, and white supremacy, but all the while clinging for dear life to the comfort and power of interpersonal relations and the possibilities they suggest. Dream Baby is about the myriad systems we’ve devised and implemented to damn our world, but it’s also committed to cultivating and protecting hope and resistance amidst it all. Against Raytheon, Amazon, heat waves, and state violence, we have each other and our collective dreams for a better world.

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