Our new video series presents a closer look at -- and an exclusive performance from -- the cool artists hitting the Billboard Tastemakers chart, which brings you the top-selling albums each week based on an influential panel of indie stores and small regional chains.
Young the Giant
The Billboard Tastemakers video series has officially stepped off the roof and inside the Mophonics studio for the season, and our latest installment comes compliments of So-Cal newcomers Young The Giant. Fresh off a string of much buzzed-about performances at CMJ Music Marathon, the five guys of YTG delivered a sun-soaked, three-song set for Billboard.com.
While the musical DNA of YTG is easy to dissect, the band's home at Roadrunner Records that takes some explaining. Heads turned at the label after the band won an opening slot on the Kings of Leon tour through an online contest, and it didn't take long until the indie-pop powerhouse was signed. Joining a roster that includes the likes of Slipknot and Megadeth, it's the infectious melodies, three-part harmonies and garage rock rhythms that snagged fans -- and a record deal -- upon first listen.
Video Below: Young the Giant Performs "Cough Syrup" Live
"In terms of genres, I'm hoping that people have difficulty trying to place what we are. I don't ever think we'd want to limit ourselves to what we can and can't do," explained lead vocalist, Gadhia.Grammy Award-winning producer Joe Chiccarelli, known for his work with U2, the White Stripes and My Morning Jacket, hopped on board with an interesting challenge right out of the gate - live track recording."We had never done that [kind of recording] before, much less with someone as serious as Joe. And given his body of work, it was incredibly intimidating, but he kicked our asses into shape," reminisced Comtois.Gadhia continued, "It made sense. Playing together, you get that kind of meshing that you can't achieve with single tracking. It's where we have the most fun anyway."Video Below: Young the Giant Performs "Strings" Live
After polishing off the record earlier this year, YTG got back on the road, supporting Minus the Bear and Marina & the Diamonds -- two musical outfits outside of their usual live realm.
"This was more synth-based, lots of electronic drums," says Comtois. "In the end, we're playing in front of people and that's what you need to do. We pride ourselves in our live show and I think we fared really well."
Coming up, Young The Giant will join Neon Trees for a number of Midwest dates kicking off Nov. 15, surely picking up more fans and more steam along the way. Expect a physical release from Young The Giant during early 2011.
Text by Lisa Binkert