Last week we reviewed the new, self-titled album from Los Angeles-based band Young Jesus, the latest addition to what is fast becoming one of the most interesting and varied oeuvres of any band currently plying their trade. The new record is both experimental and instinctive, the improvisational sound a perfect match for the immediacy and raw feeling of John Rossiter’s vocals, allowing the band to explore some pretty big themes in their own frantic, fervent way. As we wrote in our piece:
“Both the lyrics and instrumentation preach a kind of relinquishment, a cessation of over-analysis and self-reflexive thinking in favour of something more natural, even if the space feels empty or alien. Push forward instinctively, they seem to be saying. Push forward with doubt.”
We were intrigued, then, when Los Angeles based Half Stop Sessions announced a five video series with the band, keen to see how the Young Jesus aesthetic transmits to live performance. Pleasingly, thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of the band and the talents of the Half Stop crew, the session encapsulates everything that makes Young Jesus great. There’s a song being unveiled every day this week, with the ‘Untitled’ opening interlude and ‘Green’ already showing how Rossiter and co. threw everything at the performance.
We’re honoured to share the third instalment, which happens to be a brand new song that is assumedly going to be included on some future release. ‘Saganism vs. Buddism’ is based on a dream “about the cosmos, potentially meditation as well.” As you might imagine, the meaning of such a song is difficult to pinpoint, but Rossiter invites us to “find out together, right now.” What is clear is that the song explores spirituality in our secular society, and the ideas in the title seem less like direct competitors and more like two impossible poles of a spectrum, complete with their own ironies. To indulge our own opinion, Young Jesus seem to capture the reality, us left to scrabble around somewhere near the middle, where banality and transcendental emotion seem tightly entwined, as though we’re trying to impose some religious impulse from a primitive part of our brain on whatever happens to catch our eye.
“I have begun seeing with my third eye
I begun investments with my dad
I have begun contacting various mystics
I have began buying rocks in stores”
Young Jesus is out now and you can get it from Gigantic Noise. The band are also currently on tour with Pope. Half Stop Sessions have kindly listed all the dates on their page, so if the idea of Young Jesus travelling with the Pope to sing about finding fulfilment in the laws of nature and Eastern practises, be sure to check for a show near you.
While you are over at Half Stop’s website, why not explore the previous sessions, with some great videos with the likes of Palehound, The Weather Station and Kevin Morby. And, finally, remember to check back each day this week for the remainder of the session with Young Jesus. For convenience, why not follow Half Stop Sessions of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or subscribe on Youtube?
Photo by Travis Button