Wake All My Youth
Young Empires are an electro dance-pop quartet of young men hailing from Toronto—yet their debut EP, Wake All My Youth, plays with a cosmopolitan savvy normally equated with likeminded bands from London. They lean on some '80s influences that can be heard in the opening song, “Rain of Gold,” where some Speak & Spell–era Depeche Mode intersects a modern-day pop sensibility that has more in common with Passion Pit. But the party really kicks in with the New Order–tinged “Enter Through the Sun,” a throbbing dancefloor magnet with a highly addictive melody in the chorus. “White Doves” has a melody that oozes a much darker romance and works its spell on the listener with repeated plays to make for an acquired favorite. “Against the Wall” imports angular, postpunk-flavored guitar leads and stylish vocals reminiscent of a young Gary Numan—though the worldbeat percussion here recalls Talking Heads. “Beaches” is less indicative of the '80s but still abounds with neon synths and post-goth disco.