When a new band quickly rises to the heights that Young The Giant did on its debut LP eight years ago, it takes some time to process.
Now gold-certified, that album broke the Southern Californian rock band into the mainstream with a string of hit singles including My Body, Apartment and the longtime fan-favorite Cough Syrup.
The record’s sudden success also launched the band from playing coffee shops to massive music festivals like Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Coachella, almost overnight.
At the time, most of the band members were still in their early 20s. They all lived together at the same house in Newport Beach, eagerly embracing the chaos of the life of a rising rock band.
But a lot has changed in the years since.
Nearly a decade removed from their debut, the members have long since moved out of that house they shared together, and in the time since Home of the Strange came out, three of the members have gotten married.
“The last seven or eight years of touring was kind of like a whirlwind,” guitarist Eric Cannata told Revue. “It felt like I got thrown into this tornado, and I feel like this record is us settling in and coming out of that tornado.”
The band’s second LP, Mind of Matter, debuted in the Top Ten on the Billboard Albums Chart in 2014, scoring the band several more radio hits and an arena tour with alt-rock royalty Kings of Leon.
In 2016, the group followed that success with Home of the Strange, a concept record that explored the band members’ different experiences here in the U.S., as many of them are immigrants or first generation Americans.
Now taking full ownership of their own reflection as a band in the social media age, Young The Giant will release its fourth LP entitled Mirror Master on Oct. 12.
“Basically, we didn’t stop writing after we did Home of the Strange,” Cannata said about the band’s natural flow of creativity. “Even while we were touring, and in pockets between shows and tours, we would just continue writing. Home of the Strange kind of opened up the floodgates for us in terms of the writing process.”
Starting with new single Superposition, the band spent the last year working on the new record. With a more self-reflective, personal feel than its sometimes politically charged predecessor, Mirror Master found the band examining its own interpersonal relationships as the members of Young The Giant suddenly found themselves getting older.
“This record (is) taking a look at how we’re perceived and how we perceive ourselves,” Cannata said. “I think you find in a relationship, whether it’s a friend, family member, or your wife or husband or whatever, that you start to mirror these people and they mirror you in a way. And the reality that we’re mirroring everything from our perspective, from our filter, was interesting to us. It felt like the material we were writing touched on that.”
Learning to not let their egos get in the way of writing, the band worked with Grammy-winning producer Alex Salibian, who helped them explore new sounds on Home of the Strange, and opened them up to even more collaborations this time around.
Cannata describes the 12 tracks on Mirror Master as a good mix of all three of Young The Giant’s previous records, and the band plans to thoroughly mix the new songs into the “vast dynamic of the live show.”
The album’s lead single, Simplify, has one of the strongest messages, which is why the band felt strongly about putting it out first. “We get so caught up in everything other than what matters at the end of the day,” Cannata said. “I feel like we get caught up in worrying about what other people think, or in your material possessions or anything really.”
He’s sworn off social media for this very reason, and Simplify directly touches on the band’s willingness to let go of all the unimportant worries and hone in on their own lives.
“That particular song, for me, is a representation of taking a step back and being aware that all this worry and social anxiety with your relationships and anything in life isn’t important,” he said. “So many people have been searching their whole lives for the meaning of life, and they’re taking LSD or they’re going on these different medications, or they’re going on these transcendental meditation retreats.
“They’re just constantly searching, and what comes out of that is these people talking about love as the only thing that matters.”
Young The Giant
20 Monroe Live
11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
Oct. 25, 7 p.m., $27.50+