When we first heard the tunes Chicago songwriter Colin Caulfield (aka Young Man)
delivered on both his debut Boy
and live performance as part of our CMJ Showcase last Fall
, we were impressed. Young Caulfield could certainly crank some nifty pop skirmishes, all with peaceful harmonies, tender bits of atmosphere, and even a few well timed, moments of rocking the hell out. But with "Enough" and the accompany video, Caulfield appears to reach for something a bit more surreal and abstract. The song sort of floats along an uneasy breeze, and visuals push a story viewers will be forced to piece together little by little based on the clues Caulfield provides...a bold first taste of Young Man's forth coming release Ideas of Distance
"It's enough to make you stop and say, What is that? It being the gorgeous melodies and lean, spellbound guitar lines of Colin Caulfield, an English/French lit major who's about to change what it means to be a shape-shifting singer-songwriter in the YouTube age.
Just ask Bradford Cox. He knows. Why, just a year ago, the Deerhunter frontman stumbled upon Caulfield's organ-grinding rendition of Rainwater Cassette Exchange and said it's fantastically superior to the original. It actually sent shivers up my spine, especially during the second verse.
Believe it or not, that chilling cover was just a warmup session. As killer as he is at capturing the very essence of everything from Animal Collective to Ariel Pink, Caulfied's true talent is in telling his own Young Man stories. The first chapter of which goes by the name Boy, a deceivingly-simple suite of songs about wanting to grow up without having the slightest idea of what 'being a man' actually means.
Now that's a reason to hit rewind, from the tone-setting tenderness and psych-infused harmonies of Five to the restless rhythms (Caulfield was a drummer well before he became a singer/guitarist) and room-engulfing intimacy of Up So Fast. Both of which feature some of the most hopeful/haunting choruses you'll hear all year.
And that's just the beginning, of course. Since Young Man was conceived as a concept project about the passing of time, love, and loss, Caulfield already has two loosely- linked LPs on tapa faceless collection of fragile characters that could be any one of us, really.
A lot of it's autobiographical, explains Caulfield, but it's universal at the same time, because everyone goes through these things.
Listen closely. It'll all make sense soon enough. Trust us."