Richard Youngs is releasing a pop record. Yes, you read that correctly: Richard Youngs, the virtuosic Scottish avant-garde/experimental sound artist who has dabbled in many a genre, is now dabbling in one in particular: pop.
And what could be a better reason and inspiration than to craft a concept album based on a dare? Word has it Youngs’ longtime collaborator Andrew Paine offered the challenge to Youngs thusly: “make a proper pop album.” And now Youngs apparently has done just that; constructed from the mold of this simple bet came Beyond the Valley of Ultrahits, which will be out July 20 courtesy of most things Young-related, Jagjaguwar. No voice-only constructed pieces here, just straight unadulterated simple pop hooks. While this might not be a huge stretch for someone like, say, Vampire Weekend, for a man such as Richard Youngs, it’s an exploration of an entirely new universe. But hey, most crossover artists have fantastic success. Just take Garth Brooks as Chris Gaines, for example.
To coincide with and celebrate the LP release of Beyond the Valley of Ultrahits, Youngs will be curating a special evening at London’s Luminaire in which he will be performing a set of “best of” songs from his extensive catalogue, in addition to Ultrahits in its structure-saturated entirety. This event, which should be attended by women, men, and all animals within a 1000 km radius (yeah, it’s pretty major), will be taking place July 25. So whats gonna happen next? Merzbow releasing a dubstep record? A BP exec participating in a yacht race? Oh, that actually happened.