Album Review ::: Oh Brother ‘Young Minds’

Oh Brother began life in Leeds, England in 2012. With core members Matt Flint and Mark Wright often initially penning tunes on the guitar as a natural foundation, this evolved to embrace an increasing keenness to present their material in a more electronic form. In a classic case of talent flying way too far under the radar for the good of musicians and audiences alike, ‘Young Minds’ is actually their third LP.

As time has ticked on, the duo’s natural tendency towards exploration in their audio adventures has also encompassed collaborations in order to better achieve the precise sound they are searching for, namely Little Windmill (vocals on ‘Boy In The Corner’, ‘Heavy’ and ‘Lights Out’), Adam Fowler (vocals on ‘Too Much Too Young’), David Dhonau (cello on ‘Been And Gone’) and Jamie Wright (keys on ‘Come On Away From Me’). As if this wasn’t enough to occupy their time, Flint and Wright are also involved in other musical projects, most notably Maggie 8 who recently released the well-received single ‘Connected’.


If there’s one unifying musical undercurrent sweeping through this 13 track album it’s the jittering loops and waves of electronica that bind the whole package together. Popping out of the speakers, along with the smooth and sometimes ethereal vocals, listeners might well be reminded of the mellower side of Animal Collective, no more apparent than on ‘All Of This Energy Spent’. The spirit of Bombay Bicycle Club also seems to run through this record, in the sense there is a somewhat giddy form of creativity on show and perhaps a determination not to fall into familiar patterns or more traditional indie modes of expression.

Oh Brother possess the capacity to satisfy those who enjoy something more in depth in their listening, as encapsulated in the length of the record overall but also in the manner in which sounds and instruments are layered, which means there is plenty more to experience after the first sitting, encouraging this reviewer to keep coming back for more. This shouldn’t put off the more casual listener however. As attested to by the fact Huw Stephens of BBC Radio 1 has responded positively to Oh Brother’s output, there is enough here to suggest, with the right way in, regular playlisting is within grasp, BBC Radio 6 in fact seeming more like the perfect home.


Take the way ‘Been And Gone’ steadily unfurls for example, or how, when the chorus to ‘Come On Away From Me’ hits, the song is suddenly transformed into, dare we say it, something of a banger. ‘Folded Arms’ too has a very catchy vibe, something you are left in no doubt of due to the extended intro track. Another potential radio-friendly unit shifter, not that units tend to get shifted much these days with the advent of Internet piracy, comes in the form of the perhaps not so imaginatively titled ‘Too Much Too Young’, a well exploited avenue for Oh Brother to showcase the virtues of their overall dynamic, all skittering rhythms and synthesizer lines, complimented by bursts of more than proficient guitar passages, and the piling up of astutely crafted and synced vocal tracks.

We at TSFOD have bought this album. We recommend that you do too.

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