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All At Once

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Album Review

Their first album for Too Pure and without guitarist Jeff Rosenburg, All at Once is also Young People's darkest, most subdued work to date. However, paring down to a duo hasn't stripped the band of any of their inherent drama; in fact, they're more soundtrack-ready than ever. They use their spare instrumentation carefully and cleverly, creating a surprisingly big sound on songs like "On the Farm" with just a distorted guitar, a few drum hits, and layers of Katie Eastburn's haunting vocals. The torchy "Dark Rainbow" and "Ride On" exemplify the even more spacious, more mysterious sound of Young People on All at Once; though there's a touch of twang in the guitars on both of these songs, most of the alt-country sound that informed their debut album and War Prayers is gone. Instead, All at Once emphasizes Eastburn and drummer Jarrett Silberman's jazz and show tune influences: "Forget"'s hypnotic drumming is jazzy and primal at the same time. Even by Young People's standards, the album is dark and brooding: "R and R" combines words from the Yaqui poem "Song of a Dead Man," an intense, looping piano melody, and vocals that seem steeped in tears to dazzling effect. The theme continues with song titles such as "Your Grave," "Reapers," and "Heads Will Roll." However, "F" adds a sparkly, wintry cheer that makes it one of All at Once's strongest tracks. "Slow Moving Storm" and "The Clock" sound like surreal show tunes, using little more than piano and vocals to string together seemingly contradictory words and melodies. At first, the album seems slightly anticlimactic and even perplexing, but upon repeated listens, All at Once shows that Young People remain fascinating — they're one of a handful of bands that can simplify their approach and still make increasingly sophisticated music.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

A fascinating mix of rock, country, and avant-garde, the trio known as Young People formed in early 2001, when vocalist Katie Eastburn, guitarist Jeff Rosenburg, and drummer Jarrett Silberman began playing together in hopes of forming a country band and ended up forging together traditional American music with the free-form sensibilities of underground rock. The Nashville-born Eastburn, who was a choreographer and producer at San Francisco's Janet Pants Dans Theeatre [sic], met Rosenburg, formerly...
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All At Once, Young People
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