Ever wonder who that female vocalist is featured on your favorite EDM track? No need to worry about that when listening to Young Wonder, a synth-electronic duo out of Cork, Ireland. Ian Ring and Rachel Koeman work together to create unique electronic beats and airy pop vocals. They are able to keep it original while still listenable. Sometimes bands can fall off the radar by getting too weird; but while Koeman’s vocals may range in the minor key, the catchy beats allows the listener to become immersed in the sound, wanting more. Visually, they are your typical Coachella hipsters, but don’t judge a book by its cover, this band is deeper than expected. In a sea of commercialized EDM and electro-pop, Young Wonder stands out.
Top Emerging Artists – Young Wonder
Young Wonder tends not to use typical major chord progressions in terms of vocals, which not only absorbs the listener, but also makes this band stand out among other vocal based electronic groups. Their music is mainly composed of EDM influenced synth beats, without having to rely on the bass dropping to grasp the attention of the listener. Instead, a steady bass keeps their songs grounded and allows for some exploration in the vocals and hook, creating an acid-washed electronic sound. They also use techniques such as vocal playbacks and repetition. While they are not as dancey as some electronic bands out there, they keep your head bobbing and your body swaying.
Young Wonder tend to slow down the verses and speed up the hook to not only give variety to their songs, but to keep your attention as well. And it works. Some of their songs don’t even rely on vocal hooks, such as “Orange.” They are able to transition to easy-listening, electronic music. Similar to the way The xx allow you to zone out in your own world, Young Wonder suspends your mind, if only for a few minutes. When Koeman’s vocals are absent, the beats are layered and textured, continually giving the listener something to focus on.
Visually, Young Wonder is artistic and equally as layered as their music. They’re on the imprint Feel Good Lost Records, a label and visual art production house. The label has added original art for both of their EPs, creating a whimsical feeling accompanied by a sense of wanderlust and longing.
Young Wonder’s sophomore album, Show Your Teeth, was released in May of 2013. This album shows growth in their sound, including Koeman’s vocal range and some culture vibes like the bagpipes featured in “To You.” They tend to play at a lot of festival-based shows, as they continue to build a bigger fan base. Give them a listen and you’re sure not to be disappointed.
Article by Jess Keller