Andrew Mears and Stephen Hammond of Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies on stage at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, in July 2004
|Also known as||Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies, YMSS, Youm|
|Origin||Oxford, England, United Kingdom|
|Genres||Math rock (early years)
|Labels||Blast First Petite
Drowned in Sound
|Associated acts||Pet Moon, Vertical Montanas, Jonquil, Hamm, Traktors, Hold My Hand I'm Dying, Foals, Bins Are For Bombs|
|Past members||Andrew Mears
Samuel Hudson Scott
Youthmovies (previously known as YMSS or Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies) were an English rock quintet active from 2002 to 2010. They comprised Andrew Mears (guitar and vocals), Al English (guitar), Graeme Murray (drums), Stephen Hammond (bass) and Sam Scott (brass and keys).
Simon Jones, drummer from the band Hope of the States, originally played drums in Youthmovies. However, just prior to Hope of the States being signed to Sony BMG in 2004, Jones was replaced by Graeme Murray.
Their early sound touched upon noise, brooding soundscapes, samples, feedback and drone, though their mini-album Hurrah! Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last; The Inexorable March of Progress Will Lead Us All to Happiness and the subsequent single "Ores" suggested they were moving into a more ambitious and musically accomplished sound.
The band toured extensively with Hope of the States, Adam Gnade, 65daysofstatic and ¡Forward, Russia!. They also played at the Truck Festival, Latitude Festival, All Tomorrow's Parties, Bestival, Cambridge Film Festival and the Reading and Leeds festivals.
The band developed a reputation as a compelling live act, touring regularly as well as playing improvisations, collaborations and live film soundtracks in art galleries, theatres and forests.
Between April and June 2007 the band recorded their first full-length album, Good Nature, at the Seamus Wong studio in Leicester, released on Drowned in Sound Recordings on 17 March 2008. Ant Theaker, former guitarist with Hope of the States, produced the album, which was mixed at the Strongroom Studios in east London, and mastered in Chicago by Bob Weston of Shellac. The album introduced "a new attention to melody" and was the first recording to feature the trumpet playing of Sam Scott.
Forming in 2002 at university, Youthmovies (née Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies) began as a two-person affair, utilising tape decks and delay pedals to flesh-out a fledgling sound. Founders English and Mears - attracted to one another’s abilities by a shared fondness for left-of-centre alternative music; the pair would book shows for the likes of Kid606 and Part Chimp while at university - soon sought assistance, and Hammond’s arrival and the employment of Simon Jones on drums, later to commit full-time to Hope Of The States, formed a temporarily finished article.
Jones’ departure in 2003 freed the drummer’s stool up for Murray - a debut EP, ‘Let’s Get Going… You’re Fracturing Me With This Misery’, soon followed - and since then the core four have pursued a very singular creative path, recalling inventors past while always keeping an eye on widening future horizons. Press Youthmovies and they’ll cite King Crimson, Steve Reich and Sonic Youth as cornerstone influences, but their own reach is indicative of their individuality and status in the contemporary indie-rock scene. Sometime tourmates ¡Forward, Russia! can trace their formation back the initial inspiration of witnessing Youthmovies live; 65daysofstatic are regular co-conspirators, remixing Youthmovies’ ‘…spooks the horse’ and sharing a number of tours; and Foals were initially formed, and named, by Mears before the vocalist elected to concentrate 100 per cent on Youthmovies.
Youthmovies’ acclaimed ‘Hurrah!’ EP was released in 2004 on much-lauded indie label Fierce Panda; a re-release a year later incorporated a standalone single, ‘Ores’, the video for which was created by directors Type2Error, whose credits also include Bloc Party and Manic Street Preachers. Since then Youthmovies’ time has rarely been their own for rest and recuperation.
Touring commitments have come thick and fast, with the band supporting Biffy Clyro, Death Cab For Cutie, Mission Of Burma and many more. Festival appearances - including a memorable improvised set with NYC rapper and poet Saul Williams at the 2005 Leeds Festival and bill-topping appearances at All Tomorrow’s Parties and Truck Festival in 2007 - have been welcome distractions. Special one-off events like the live sound-tracking of films at London’s ICA and the Cambridge Film Festival have attracted new audiences to the band’s idiosyncrasies. A special collaborative EP with two-time tourmate Adam Gnade, ‘Honey Slides’, was released via Try Harder, the label co-founded by English, in 2006. (Try Harder has also released material by Jonquil, Tired Irie, Blood Red Shoes and Foals among others). Now, though, Youthmovies are ready to reveal their debut album, ‘Good Nature’.
Produced alongside Ant Theaker, who also manned the desk for ‘Hurrah!’, Youthmovies’ first long-play release proper is the culmination of more than five years’ hard work. With Scott a full-time member of the Youthmovies unit, the progress from the band’s preceding EP couldn’t be clearer: this is fiery ambition committed to digital disc, the sound of five hungry souls realising all their potential in a blinding flourish of compositional extravagance and exemplary musicianship.
But do not let such on-paper hyperbole for time signature hysteria put you, the potential newcomer, off: ‘elitism’ is a word unknown to Youthmovies, and there’s nothing pretentious about the ten songs that comprise ‘Good Nature’. Immediacy is key, and from the outset onwards this album balances the affecting and accessible with the beguiling and bombastic. It is an album to awaken a mainstream to the talents of five young musicians already enjoying an incredible groundswell of support at a comparative underground level. It is an album to put to bed expectations of impenetrable fret-work and preconceptions of ‘progressive’ being a dirty word.
‘Let’s Get Going…’ were their own words five years ago; with ‘Good Nature’, Youthmovies have well and truly arrived.
(Mike Diver, February 2008)
It was announced via their Myspace blog on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 that they had split. In co-ordinance three hours and fifty minutes later Foals posted a blog regarding this matter. Reasons for doing so may concern upon the fact Andrew Mears, rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist of Youthmovies, was once a member of Foals previous to when Edwin Congreave, the current keyboardist, had joined. The author of the post was Yannis Philippakis, the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of Foals. He stated the following:
- Sadly, it has been announced that Youthmovies will be no more. Save for a few farewell shows in the coming New Year they will be calling it a day. Suffice to say none of us would be in the position we're in without their inimitable contribution to music, our lives and psyches. For me personally they have been never ending wells of support, inspiration and beatdowns. I would not be the monomaniacal entity i am without their silent spurring. For all of you unfamiliar with their output find every record they've ever made and listen to it religiously. It will bring you truth and harmony. Without Andrew in particular Foals would definitely NOT exist. Check their page for announcements of future projects and happenings.
The original post of that of Andrew Mears stated that of the following
I guess the nut's been cracked... we were going to wait to announce our demise until we had our final shows in place - if nothing else to make us feel better about the end of what's been an awesome, turbulent, terrible and wonderful period in our lives; it's a sad time for us and we wanted to be measured about it; but as is the case nowadays - the internet had its way. There's a part of me that would love this to be an amputated, acerbic mess of a break-up, for the romance of it, but we're still friends, still love to play and there's no attitude about any of this; we're all at good points in our lives, just very different ones. Life has spread us out over the country now and it's become a logistical nightmare to get our shit together. I think there was a good chance that had we made the next record, our distance would have had a bad effect on the music. We've always been close and it's the only way we know how to work with one and other. So, not wanting to tar what we've done in the past, we're calling it a day and looking to the future...Sam has a forthcoming record with Jonquil, and has begun to work on his solo 'solid gold dragons' project, which I can only assume will be a mixture of hilarious and obnoxiously accomplished. Al is starting a new band in London and helping to pull the strings behind great event after great event.Graeme has plans for some kind of drum group to do drumdrugs to and is moving in to production at the studio we've built with Jonquil and Foals. Ham, no doubt, will continue to make noise and electronic records under 'hamm' and 'hold my hand I'm dying'. I am in the process of recording a solo record under the name of 'pet moon'. I'm also working on collaborations with Mitch Cheney (sweep the leg johnny, hey tonal, rumah sakit), Oxford band 'Coloureds', as well as some of the old stalwarts. I can tentatively say I just finished my book - which I'm reading from on the 9th of January as a part of Sebastian Thomas' 'human drift' sculpture exhibition at Art Jericho, 6 King Street, Oxford. It runs from the 2nd. Collectively Sam, Al, Graeme and I (as well as members of Jonquil, Foals and the Oxford art community) will be putting on exhibitions, club-nights, printing literature, and releasing records as part of the 'Blessing Force' cult. Standby. You can also expect more from our 'vertical montanas' collective.Anyway I don't want to ramble on, just to say - thank you massively to everyone that's ever helped us out, we've only ever got by on the kindness of strangers and the strangeness of their kindness'. Thank you to everyone, who looked beyond our flaws and pomp and saw something sincere and necessary; thank you to our friends in bands - don't take any shit from anyone; thank you to our girls - you deserved better; thank you to the haters, the hungry and the money-grubbing industry types - aiming to be the antithesis of you has made us everything that we are. Thank you Al, Graeme, Sam and Ham - you are beyond friends, do yourselves proud, I love you.We are going to do our best to make these last few shows special, I hope you can make it.I guess it fits to say -Hurrah! Another year, surely this one will be better than the last, the inexorable march of progress will lead us all to happiness.Andrew xxx
In March 2010 the band toured one last time in England and Scotland along with regular collaborator Adam Gnade.
- Let's Get Going... You're Fracturing Me With This Misery (Quickfix Recordings, 2003)
- Hurrah! Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last; The Inexorable March of Progress Will Lead Us All to Happiness (Fierce Panda, August 2004 / Re-pressed, 2005)
- Honey Slides (Try Harder Records, collaboration with Adam Gnade released September 2007)
- Polyp (Blast First Petite (featuring guest spots by Adam Gnade and members of 65daysofstatic and Blanket released November 2008)
- Hughes, Tim (10 July 2007). "Line-up for truck festival revealed". Oxford Mail (Newsquest (Oxfordshire & Wiltshire) Ltd). Retrieved 16 April 2013.
- Hughes, Tim (21 July 2008). "6,000 enjoy Truck Festival". Oxford Mail.
- "ATP VS THE FANS - LINE UP". All Tomorrow's Parties website. ATP Festivals. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
- Hawkett, Becky. "Interview: Youthmovies". Cambridge Film Trust. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
- Mears, Andrew (2008-03-31). "Band Notes - Youthmovies". SUPERSWEET. Retrieved 2008-03-31.
- Good Nature at MusicBrainz
- Let's Get Going... You're Fracturing Me With This Misery at MusicBrainz
- Hurrah! Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last; The Inexorable March of Progress Will Lead Us All to Happiness at MusicBrainz
- Hurrah! Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last; The Inexorable March of Progress Will Lead Us All to Happiness (2005 repress) at MusicBrainz
- Honey Slides at MusicBrainz
- Polyp at MusicBrainz
- "Ores" at MusicBrainz
- Homeless Musics at MusicBrainz
- Homeless Musics II at MusicBrainz
- Homeless Musics III at MusicBrainz