Album Review: Summer Through My Mind by Richard Youngs
Fairly Good, Based on 5 Critics
Tiny Mix Tapes - 80 Based on rating 4/5
This is Richard Youngs’ “country” album. But first: how did he get here? Sort of on a dare. Youngs asked Ba Da Bing Records head Ben Goldberg for a list of “dream record” ideas he’d like to hear from Youngs, and from that list, Youngs chose country.
At this point, the Glaswegian singer, guitarist, improviser, and experimentalist Richard Youngs can do just about anything, from the freakiest folk to the moodiest minimal electronics, and still sound like himself. It's tempting to joke about his inevitable reggae album, but there's probably already one knocking around somewhere in his voluminous catalog, which runs to literally scores of solo albums and collaborations since 1990. There is, of course, his unmistakable voice, which suggests a sweeter and more gently deranged Jimmy Flemion (of shock-folk duo the Frogs), especially when paired with a drugged-sounding acoustic guitar.
At this point, two-plus decades and countless albums into his career, we’ve stopped figuring out what to expect from Richard Youngs. He’s done just about it all. His last record, Amaranthine, sounded howled out of some impossibly deep cave dwelling. It was murky but somehow still perfect for defining that moment in Youngs’ musical life.
Summer Through My Mind is the latest release in an already extensive catalogue of albums by Richard Youngs. What makes this both surprising and welcome is that despite having over forty releases behind him, Youngs is a musical nomad. His pursuit to familiarise himself with what is within when confronting the unfamiliar without creates a seemingly eternal variety of sounds that, this time, have shaped themselves as a warped country album.
Richard Youngs — Summer Through My Mind (Ba Da Bing)When Richard Youngs agreed to record a country album for his debut on Ba Da Bing Records, it was like he had accepted a dare. “I haven’t got a country bone in my body,” he admitted to Ben Chasny in his 2012 BOMB Magazine interview. Label boss Ben Goldberg had given Youngs a whole list of dream records he’d like hear from him, which means other options must have been on the table, but the British singer-noisemaker elected to try his hand at America’s Appalachian offspring anyway.What he ended up with doesn’t sound like Jimmie Rodgers or Hank Williams at all, though there’s more going on here than meets the ear.