An iconic painting of a fiery-red rooster with accent feathers of teal superimposed over a sky-blue background fading into warm tones of pink is the album cover that invites listeners to the world of The Young Step. The rooster’s golden eye stares as if daring the reluctant to slide the black CD from the cover. Once the album entitled EL CLASICO is freed from its enclosure and allowed to play, it immediately begins to take listeners on a twisting musical road trip with its first few beats. If The Young Step’s debut album begins the winding path for ears to travel, its surreal cover design must be the billboard showing a glimpse of the end destination of that musical trip.
The Young Step band members consisting of Ben Whitson, Lauren Gilliam, Micah Gilliam, and Matt Carter are the drivers of the sound that rolls around curves of Rock and Roll and dips in Blues and Motown. Their unique music can’t be simply pinned down or labeled. It’s a constantly changing audible feast that challenges listeners to keep up with its pace.
When asked to describe the band’s sound, vocalist and guitarist Micah Gilliam says, “Our thing is sort of askew. It’s not mainstream and it’s not too weird. I feel really good about it when it gets out and permeates.” The Young Step finds the inspiration for their songs in music from musicians like The Beatles, David Bowie, and The Doors. Their sound also has a very nostalgic vibe of the 80’s. On the album’s fourth track called Yoga, guitarist and singer Ben Whitson’s deep resonating voice brings the group’s character to the front. The harmony of husband and wife, Micah and Lauren Gilliam, is the perfect backdrop for the lead’s cool vocals. However, it’s Lauren Gilliam’s sultry and soulful voice that laces the bridge.
The album’s fifth track called “When I Was Young” is propelled by the power of bass and guitar. It has a trippy Jimi Hendrix sound that is B52-esque in flavor. It’s just another one of the album’s tracks that shows the band’s versatility and talents. Each song has its own special spice that it lends to EL CLASICO’s cohesiveness.
The Young Step members recently traveled to New York where they mixed and mastered their debut album at The Magic Shop recording Studio in SoHo. When asked about the experience Whitson says, “It was awesome, man! It’s a famous studio that’s been around so long. So much awesome stuff has come out of there. It was really cool to sit in the same chair that David Bowie sat in when he was mixing his album.”
Lauren Gilliam adds about the Magic Shop recording experience, “It was a great feeling when this album was done. We were like, we’re done…but we’re not done. We’re never going to be done.” The Young Step band is already making plans for a second album and also a music video. The band members have great ambitions and creativity that beckons them to enjoy their present successes and to look forward to achieving many more goals in the future.
The Young Step has a focused vision that will keep them busy entertaining and creating more music for years to come. Micah Gilliam describes the groups milestones as he says, “Recording the first album was literally the arrival point, but it’s like reaching the top of a tall mountain. We have a lot more work to do to reach the top of the next mountain and the one after that.” Whitson adds to the conversation, “The most basic goal is to support ourselves with this. Just to be able to keep going and making music is the main goal.”
More than just giving listeners a good beat to dance to, The Young Step also wants people to feel something deeper in their vocals and rhythm. Lauren Gilliam says, “General positivity is what I want people to walk away with. If you’re going to create something, you might as well create something that’s going to bring more positivity and lightness to the world.”
With the support of friends, family, and many others who believe in the band’s promising future, The Young Step is steadily making their way in the music business. To fund a large portion of the costs involved in promoting and creating their music, the band launched a very successful Kickstarter campaign in which they received nearly $10,000 in pledges. It’s an amazing achievement for which every member of the band expresses their great appreciation to the backers of the project.
The Young Step sound is fresh, bold, and brilliant. The band’s essence is captured wonderfully on their album. Luckily, music lovers can also personally feel the band’s energized rhythms and vocals. With a lineup of their shows posted on their website, The Young Step encourages readers to follow their status and to learn performance dates online.
The Young Step Backyard Block Party & Record Release
7pm Thursday, April 7
Doors open at 6pm, music starts at 7pm. Food trucks and concessions will be onsite.
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