On December 18, Deal quartet The Young Hearts breathed a collective sigh of relief as ‘Everything We Left Behind’ was finally released.
It’s more than a debut EP; it’s a document of perseverance throughout two years of struggle and personal setbacks, as guitarist Aaron Jackson explains.
“It took us about eight months to get it out there because we had a few mishaps,” explains Jackson. “Two of the band were in a car crash and we’ve lost jobs and loved ones, so it’s been a bit of a mission, really. But we’re still here to tell the tale.”
Not only that, but the band – completed by bassist Stew Thorpe, drummer Matt Cattell and guitarist/vocalist Craig Lawrence and formed out of the ashes of, Promise Me Tomorrow, the members’ previous project– have taken those experiences and infused them into the five urgent and impassioned tracks. Full-bodied and anthemic emo-rock that’s by turns triumphant and wounded, The Young Hearts’ songs are very much the sums of their parts, their experiences. But it wasn’t always that way.
“Our previous band,” says Jackson, “we were kind of just in a band to sound like a band, but now we play what we want to play. Craig had a lot to say on this EP after everything we’d been through. He went through some hard times and the songwriting definitely touches on the stuff that happened to us. We were a dark place, but we’re coming out the other side of it now.”
That might be so, but the sense of stark desolation on this record permeates everything, right through to its cover art - a photo of a desolate, abandoned room – that serves as a visual representation of the EP’s title.
“Me, Craig and Craig’s friend were hunting around for some photos,” says Jackson, “and one day we decided to do some locational shooting and – I shouldn’t say this – we broke into an old, disused asylum. It was pretty creepy in there. I’m not going to lie – we had the heebie jeebies. Everything We Left Behind is about looking onto newer pastures, but we needed something old and degraded to get the contrast across. We had to be very sly when we took that picture, because there was a lot of work going on. We had to do a proper Navy Seal maneuvre, but you have to take a few risks to get the good stuff!”
It’s an even more impressive start given the turmoil that enveloped the band and the making of the EP, but one that should help the four-pieces expand beyond the horizons of the small town they come from. Not that they’re thinking that far ahead yet.
“I’m just happy that people are listening to us,” chuckles Jackson. “We didn’t even think the EP was going to make the light of day. Now we’ve got even got a video out. It’s exciting. And there’s definitely going to be more to come.”
The Young Hearts’ Everything We Left Behind is out now on No Panic Records. For more information, visit their Facebook page.