With just two EPs to their name, The Gospel Youth last year launched a crowdfunding campaign with the goal of releasing a single for every month of 2016. That they could complete such a feat was a testament to how much they already meant to so many. Their emotionally driven, fiery songs have a habit of landing close to home, and in giving something back, The Gospel Youth’s fans might just be the reason ‘Always Lose’ has come to exist.
Almost as fantastically pompous as its title, ‘I Will Deliver You To The Fireflies’ is a piano-led gem that explodes as an opener. It exemplifies an age-old tool that The Gospel Youth execute well – the quiet first chorus before soaring to the heavens. A criticism may be that it results in ‘Always Lose’ peaking too early, but in the case of a song of this quality, an exception can surely be made.
‘If you’re gonna sing, sing it with soul’ offers ‘Kids’, the 2014 debut track given a re-release here. And that’s precisely what Sam Little does; the band’s focal point, he adds colour and heart to the simple melodies of ‘Gin & Black Coffee’ and ‘Wildfire’. Possessing an eerily Patrick Stump-like quality and range, you could be forgiven for thinking your phone has shuffled to a track from ‘From Under The Cork Tree’.
‘Tired Eyes & Heavy Hearts’ sounds like a shoe-in for the next single from about three seconds in, with Funeral For A Friend producer Romesh Dodangoda well versed in the application of big sounds and even bigger choruses. The group’s strengths lie in sharp and fizzing pop-punk, with ‘Moods Like English Weather’ the welcome jolt following ‘Revolutions’’ mid-album lull in tempo.
It is difficult to listen to a song like ‘I Will Deliver You To The Fireflies’ and then imagine The Gospel Youth not sprouting wings and taking flight. Indeed, the first half of ‘Always Lose’ is of remarkably high quality, and although its later parts reveals some of the filler to be expected of a debut, do not underestimate how well this album could do. It’s exciting and uplifting stuff.
‘Always Lose’ by The Gospel Youth is released on July 14th on Rise Records.
Words by Peter Stewart (@PeteStew_)