Young Galaxy - Introducing

YOUNG GALAXY live at the INTRODUCING event in Cologne (Photo by Christian Faustus)

Although Berlin’s ever hyped districted Kreuzberg is used to plenty of hip people running through the streets this view must have been quite bizarre anyway. Hundreds of people standing in the line for the Lido on this warm spring evening, waiting to get into the sacred halls of the Lido for the May installment of the INTRODUCING series. Okay, so what happened? Was it the good weather? Or the attendance of declared pop saviours CHVRCHES? Or was it the unbeatable offer ‘Four bands for free’? We don’t know but for the first time in the history of the event it looked like the concept of ‘All you need is a spot on the guestlist’ went wrong. More demand (in form of guestlist spots) than supply (aka space at the venue). Kind of a frustrating feeling when you’ve been there one our before the show, waiting in the queue and missing half the show before getting told that the venue run out of capacity. It happened to a lot of people, it almost happened to us. We hope this was just an exception and some sort of one-time miscalculation – ‘because actually we love the INTRODUCING event.

Despite opening Berlin-based folk band MIGHTY OAKS this evening could be headlined as an exhibition of modern day electro pop. Analog synthesizers, up-to-date beats, catchy melodies and charismatic front women are the main theme of tonight. Sorry, MIGHTY OAKS – nothing against your emotional but also joyful folk pop in the style of MUMFORD & SONS, but it’s not your playground tonight. Canadian wave pop band YOUNG GALAXY and their charismatic lead singer Catherine McCandless were next in line, performing the tracks of their just released fourth album Ultramarine. “We really feel more awake and present in our lives when we are searching in the dark for what might turn up” told the singer in a recent interview with NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION. It’s that darkness in her voice that defines the music of YOUNG GALAXY, giving the catchy indie-pop a joyful and disturbing twist. Especially with such heart-wrenching pleasures as their melancholic single New Summer. The sentimental song was one of the secret highlights on this evening. A band we would love to see again in the future.

Not sure if this goes for CLAIRE as well. Without being mistaken, the five-piece from Munich was pretty solid and gave a really professional performance on that night. But it all felt a bit like watching a group building songs while following a construction manual of temporary hipster pop. A bit THE XX here, slices of DISCLOSURE’s chart-friendly house music there. It almost was a bit too slick during the set. But it got a bit better by the end as the group left their musical comfort zone and got a bit wild. The crowd clearly enjoyed that. There is an emotional component to pop music you either have or not -.and it looks like CLAIRE are still on their way. But, well, they’ve just started – who could blame them?

Final act of the night were the highly anticipated pop newcomers CHVRCHES. And whether you love them or hate them (even we are unsure yet) you can’t deny the buzz the Scottish trio creates. But they are quite easy to fall for. Why? There electronic pop might not be new and the songs might not be that creative but – damn – they know how to write hits. And there is a certain musical knowledge behind these guys. The main reason might be former AEREOGRAMME and THE UNWINDING HOURS member Iain Cook. Who would have thought this post-rock mastermind one day become a pop star. Probably by accident. Same might go for lead singer Lauren Mayberry who doesn’t looks like the typical front woman of a synthie-pop band (just take CLAIRE singer Josie for example) – she’s more the ‘girl next door.’ But this girl got a really standout voice that perfectly fits to the quite epic synthesizer sounds. Well, old habits from Mr. Cook. It’s classical understatement, CHVRCHES almost look a bit lost on stage sometimes. Hype stars by accident. But the hits we already know – Lies, Recover and of course The Mother We Share – are lovely and the other tracks from their debut album are more than promising. It will be out in September and it’s clearly one record to look forward to. They might not save pop – actually non of this bands will – but they give it some new great songs. And that’s probably the best they can do.

As alway you can stream the whole show at ARTE Live Web.