The Young Sinclairs – You Know Where To Find Me (Planting Seeds Records)
The beautiful 60’s inspired folk pop of The Young Sinclairs is beginning to appear on the radar of serious music lovers everywhere, thanks to their new You Know Where To Find Me EP.
It is hard to believe Roanoke, Virginia’s The Young Sinclairs formed in 2005 for two reasons; the first being their uncanny 60’s folk rock sound, and the second, why have I not known about them until just now?
The band shares members with the newer and also highly recommended Eternal Summers, and perhaps it’s partly due to their more high profile presence on the scene, not to mention the release of this near perfect EP, that The Young Sinclairs are finally gaining a following.
The Young Sinclairs current lineup features principal songwriter, frontman, and rhythm guitarist Sam Lunsford, his older brother Joe on drums, bassist Kyle Harris, Daniel Cundiff on various instruments, and John Thompson on lead guitar.
The reference points are obvious – The Byrds, Rain Parade, The Zombies – and the idealistic warmth and excitement of the 60’s can be heard throughout the EP’s 5 songs, from the uplifting arrangements, the tone of the playing and even the instruments they favour (tube amps, sitars, tambourines and 12 strings). When asked to list their influences in the basic info section of their band profile, The Young Sinclairs simply yet honestly declare, “under them”.
Now that’s out of the way, The Young Sinclairs are much more than boring revivalists and copyists retreading an already exhausted musical path with flared jeans and platform sandals. Although the sweet stink of patchouli incense does linger, The Young Sinclairs are principally just a group of young men with a passion for music (Sam Lunsford shares a mix tape on tour specially tailored for fans, full of underground gems I had never heard of, and I thought I had covered a lot of ground up until this point!).
The EP’s title track is a reverb-washed folk pop swoon of Byrdsian 12 string guitar jangle. Sam Lunsford’s breezy vocals drift in gently like a dream, and there’s a vibrant yearning nostalgia for the long lost romanticism of youthful summer days.
Overflowing with heroically twangy guitar ornamentation and beautiful, luxuriously layered melodies, it is easily the stand out track on the EP, although the songs that follow are also an undeniable pleasure for the ears.
“Too Young” is a lovely mid-paced acoustic lilt with a softly tapped beat and a shimmering tambourine shake. The instrumentation is mellow, but its sweet, ghostly harmonies and wistful lyrics give it a downcast and reflective mood.
“Ear To the Ground” has a bluesy British Invasion style strut reminiscent of The Rolling Stones and brings the EP into rockier territory, even fading out on an amplified electric guitar solo.
“Remember This Song” trades in the sunny innocence of the earlier tracks for some vitriolic garage rock brimming with attitude. A gritty ripple of fuzz guitar accompanies the spiky lyrical barbs of Lunsford, recounting an unpleasant relationship severed by shallow materialism, betrayal, and greed.
The digital version of the EP comes with a radiantly pretty cover of Roky Erickson’s classic “I Have Always Been Here Before” as a bonus.
The handful of songs gathered here expertly show off the different sides of the band, emphasising their exceptional skills as songwriters and musicians who flawlessly reclaim styles from one of the greatest, most influential eras of the art form and triumphantly make them their own.
All words by Carrie Quartly. You can read more of her writing on the site here.