Fresh from a handful of must-see shows at SXSW festival, Montreal natives Young Galaxy are busy prepping for the release of their fourth album, ‘Ultramarine’. Tom Edwards speaks with this electro-dream pop band about its creation and their plans for the year ahead.
Your last album, ‘Shapeshifting’, was produced remotely by Dan Lissvik. Was that process a leap of faith and how did working side by side with him on ‘Ultramarine’ shape this record differently?
‘Shapeshifting’ was a leap of faith. We wrote and recorded, then gave up the songs to Dan and he worked on them alone. With this album we could make leaps of faith together. ‘Ultramarine’ is very representative of our time in Sweden, of our chemistry as a band with Dan.
There are shades of sophisti-pop and ’80s new wave on the new album. Did you grow up listening to music from that era?
Some of us did and some of us didn’t – I don’t think we ever intend to sound like a particular era of music. The people in the band come from a wide array of ages and backgrounds, so I’d say the influences are getting harder to track. The best part about this line-up having been together for a while is that we have a sense of the band’s character.
Stephen – back when you were working with Stars, was it an easy decision to leave them to make Young Galaxy a full-time concern?
They knew from the start that I was only really interested in doing it for a finite amount of time and that my priority was Young Galaxy, so they were very supportive when it came time to strike out alone. Without that experience, I don’t think I would have been able to steer a band of my own.
You are over in Austin for SXSW as we speak. Any memorable moments?
We feel like we’ve really hit our stride and are just out to enjoy that this year. Last time we were here, the most memorable moment was a shirtless, shoeless Iggy Pop cutting the line for swag in front of us. This time it was seeing Carrie Brownstein (Wild Flag/Sleater-Kinney) at one of our shows.
Are you excited to be back in London in May?
We’re always excited to play London, it’s the centre of the universe!
How are your plans shaping up for the rest of the year?
We are going to tour a lot and hopefully make some new material before the end of the year. We like this work, you know?
Young Galaxy’s new album ‘Ultramarine’ comes out on 29th April on Paper Bag Records and they headline Birthdays on May 20th.