The Oceans (Dan Joe and Linus Valdemar) were here a while ago, in March. I didn’t know quite what to make of them at the time as they were transitioning between a fuzzy guitar sound and a more electronic one. I decided it made them sound like an unholy collaboration between Oasis and Erasure.
There’s no debating the style of this one. ‘Young & High’ has the imprint of 1980s Manchester all over it, especially in the Peter Hook-like bass riff and Stephen Morris-themed percussion that channel New Order to perfection. And on the wonderfully minimalistic video which accompanies the track, Bez forsakes the Happy Mondays for a bike ride into Boggart Hole Clough where he does one of his traditional little dances before wandering off.
The bike won’t be there when you come back, Bez; you should know that by now.
At the same time it has an urgency and vibrancy about it that suggests something like an amalgam of Supergrass’ ‘Alright’ and Irene Cara’s ‘Fame’ and which reflects ideally the thread of the storyline, which concerns the hopes and aspirations of a teenage runaway. How did they manage to mix all that up with New Order?
And then they throw in a classy instrumental bridge that might have been lifted from the latest album from Arcade Fire or perhaps M83. I whinged about the lack of one on the previous single but they’ve hit the mark here, without doubt.
You know if I was in charge of marketing this song and the album, I’d be hammering on the door of every club DJ in Manchester because it isn’t that far removed from where New Order (and possibly even Joy Division) started off. Just brought up to date a little, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
‘Young and High’ is released on 3rd June on Celebration Records.
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