Wednesday 17 October 2018

Wake up to a truly beautiful morning

Exposure: Youngblood Hawke found fame via a TV advert
Exposure: Youngblood Hawke found fame via a TV advert
John Meagher

John Meagher

Big release of the week: Youngblood Hawke Wake Up (Island) 3 STARS

Having one of your songs appear on a worldwide ad campaign for a mega-brand like Coca-Cola offers a giant step into the big time.

Just ask the Los Angeles-based Youngblood Hawke, who could hardly have asked for a better shop window when their sunny pop tune, We Come Running, was chosen to front a Coke commercial for its PlaceLists app – the company's newly forged alliance with Spotify.

Throw in the song's prominence on the Fifa 2013 game and it's no surprise that the quintet's stock has risen meteorically.

It's easy to see why We Come Running appealed to the marketers – it's got a catch-all, eminently hummable quality that will lock itself inside your head on first listen.

And, as this debut album proves, the indie synth-poppers – who have emerged from the ashes of the fleetingly popular band, Iglu & Hartly – have several other songs equally capable of ear-worming their way into the zeitgeist.

Look no further than Dreams' joyously yelped refrains or the thrilling urgency of the opener, Rootless.

Think the sort of effervescent indie-electronica proffered by Passion Pit and early MGMT and you're somewhere close.

Wake Up's songs are gloriously upbeat affairs, whether they fall into the category of slickly produced anthems or lo-fi charmers redolent of Peter, Bjorn and John. Remember them?

But such positivity cannot sustain itself over the course of an album and the band's relentlessly positive worldview just gets cloying after a while.

Stars (Hold On) is a case in point: from its epic strings to its over-the-top delivery, it lays the saccharine on thick.

Still, in short doses they excel. Perfect, one would have thought, for the download generation.

KEY TRACKS We Come Running; Dream

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