Oklahoma’s Fossil Youth put down something of a marker with last year’s ‘Intertwined With You’. Recalling the likes of Balance and Composure and Turnover, the oh-so-short four-track EP won them a solid fanbase, meaning there’s an air of expectation around ‘A Glimpse of Self Joy’.
Yet, if there was any pressure, it’s not apparent. ‘A Glimpse of Self Joy’ is a powerful emo/indie-rock album that builds upon the group’s early promise, delivering a striking and confident full-length that sees the quartet push into new musical territories.
Built around a narrative of a poisonous relationship, ‘A Glimpse of Self Joy’ is something of a difficult lyrical listen, carried by Scottie Noonan’s crisp vocals. “I’m sick of carrying your shit,” he pleads on ‘We’re Caving In”. It could have sounded melodramatic, but is instead a powerful and moving moment in an album packed with many similarly striking insights.
Musically, ‘A Glimpse of Self Joy’ is similarly taut – and a huge step up on ‘Intertwined With You’. Hooks are insidious, often half-obscured by light and shade, while the songs ebb and flow brilliantly. They’re a smart bunch too; a wonderful rolling drum beat builds to a powerful crescendo on ‘Late Night Swim’ before intense, half-screamed vocals kick in. It’s cleverly-constructed stuff that pushes and pulls you along the narrative perfectly.
There’s a nice switch of tempo too; At 12 songs and nearly 40 minutes long, ‘A Glimpse of Self Joy’ could have been a test, certainly considering the lyrical themes, but tracks like ‘Forest Eyes’ and ‘Color Coded’ flip from injecting much needed pace to moments of quiet introspection.
It means ‘A Glimpse of Self Joy’ is an arresting and powerful album, filled with mature and relevant themes. It’s to Fossil Youth’s immense credit that they have the confidence – and ability – to address these issues head-on.
’A Glimpse of Self Joy’ by Fossil Youth is released on November 4th on Take This To Heart Records.
Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)