Prairie-raised, Vancouver-based songsmith Young has attracted far more attention in the UK than here. In fact, this, his third album, was released there back in the spring, and notched four-star reviews in Uncut and MOJO. That response is not too surprising, given that his brand of atmospheric melancholia fits easily alongside such faves of the Brits as Giant Sand and Jim White, with his voice occasionally sounding akin to Stuart Staples (Tindersticks). Unlike the earthy approach of prairie peer Corb Lund, Young is distinctly cerebral. It sounds like he spent more time reading existentialist philosophy and watching Wim Wenders movies than herding cattle. On first listen, Young’s dry and parched voice sounds a mite affected, but you’re soon drawn into his evocative soundscapes. Some vocal variety is provided by the lovely harmony singing of Samantha Parton (Be Good Tanyas) on such tracks as “Little Wind” and “Wanderlust,” while his backing band, the Tin Cup, acquit themselves well. Proceedings are occasionally too funereal (a couple of songs clock in at six minutes), but there’s no doubting Young’s lyrical skills.
First page of the Roger Dean Young archive.