The Young Hearts – ‘Honestly, I’m Just Thinking’

By Mark Johnson

With their debut EP ‘Everything We Left Behind’, Kent-based quartet The Young Hearts reminded us of the joy in gritty, alt-rock. To emphasise the message, the band return with follow-up EP ‘Honestly, I’m Just Thinking’ which turns up the intensity of their sound to perfectly bridge the gap between accessibility and integrity.

With less prominent hooks, the debut EP took a few listens to pull you in, but the driving rhythm and massive chorus of ‘Bloom’ kicks this record off in anthemic style, giving it instant impact and appeal. The traditional song structures and definable chorus hooks ensure accessibility, but the band haven’t compromised on the heartfelt, emotive presentation of their music, which gives them such a warming personality.

Craig Lawrence wears his heart on his sleeve with raw, honest vocals that quiver with each emotive inflection, building a believable relationship with the listener. With passages such as “please don’t tell me that you feel the same because I don’t feel the way I used to” and “I’m just trying to understand if there’s anyone left to keep me company down here,” the sentiment is clear in his voice, making it impossible not ignore what’s being sung.

Working once again with producer Ian Sadler, the aesthetic of the EP is a continuation of the previous record. There’s a bigger emphasis on punchy, anthemic songs here, but the band haven’t been sucked into studio trickery and ultra-clean tones to achieve it, preserving the honesty of their sound instead.

The Young Hearts made a solid start to their journey with ‘Everything We Left Behind’, but ‘Honestly, I’m Just Thinking’ takes their music to a new level. The songs may be harder hitting and the hooks more urgent and memorable, but they’ve managed to retain the their down-to-earth character, making for a refreshing voice in today’s alt-rock scene. This is an excellent sign of progression for the band and with it should come a wider appeal and a swathe of new fans.

MARK JOHNSON

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