Younger Years took everyone by surprise, as Brighton quartet Delta Sleep decided to skip social media teasers and drop this gem by the end of last September. Released barely over a year after their widely acclaimed Ghost City, this EP builds old ideas into new ones, delivering a raw and intimate experience with a fair share of throwbacks and emotional memories. In a delightfully cohesive manner, the six tracks transport you to nostalgic moments, with relatable lyrics regardless of your age, gender or nationality.
The opening track ‘In the Air’ blends a splendid shuffle beat with guitar-tapping interplaying riffs, painting the stage for a melancholic long distance relationship story. There is an eerie live feel lingering throughout the whole extended play: by the time you’ll get to the ‘One more round’ part of this song, it will be quite impossible not to picture a sold-out crowd chanting together, brokenhearted. A pleasing and seamless transition takes us to ‘Sofa Boy’. The first distorted guitar chords rapidly leave room for some clean arpeggios that are reminiscent of Faraquet’s early work. The atmosphere keeps evolving with modulated guitar parts and whispering singing that turns into soaring vocals as the song moves forward. A special highlight on this one is Blake’s drumming: some of the heaviest “in-your-face” snare and cymbal hits ever recorded by the band.
After a well-deserved keyboard interlude in ‘Martin, Martini’, Delta Sleep speeds things up with ‘Constant Dreamer’. This track is particularly live-oriented, with tons of dynamics and energetic vocals. Be prepared to shake your head and move your body: it’s a banger. ‘Three Ghosts’ kicks off right after with some shimmering sounds, backing vocals and an intimate acoustic guitar, setting up a Radiohead-esque vibe that frames beautifully-sang introspective lyrics: ‘Hey boy, where have you gone? Your mind has come undone. If you don’t gather all the pieces of your head and move along, well you might as well be dead’. Saving the best for last here comes ‘The Younger Years’, which might become one of the next math rock anthems, and a long one for that matter, almost hitting 7 and a half minutes of stunning and sincere musicianship. Admirable both in terms of composition and performance, the closing track is irrefutable proof of Delta Sleep’s musical maturity and a strong confirmation of their critical importance in the British and international math rock scene.