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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 of the noise rock group Pink and Brown, in the late '90s, and the pair worked on a dance score together.
After spending some time in Berlin in 2000, the duo relocated to Los Angeles and began working on what would become Young People's first album. When Silberman, who had also played with the Uphill Gardeners, joined the group the next winter, the lineup of Young People — named after a 1940 Shirley Temple movie — was complete. The band released its self-titled debut first as a CD-R and then, with three additional songs, on 5 Rue Christine in 2002. Young People quickly earned glowing reviews, with their chaotically beautiful music likened to Cat Power, the Dirty Three, and the Velvet Underground. Young People also appeared at the Newport Folk Festival that year while readying material for their second album, and moved to New York City in early 2003. That spring, they toured with the likes of the Kills, the Seconds, and the Liars and released The Single on Hand Held Heart Records.
Their sophomore effort, War Prayers, appeared in fall 2003 on Dim Mak. The following year, Rosenburg left the group to concentrate on his studies; Eastburn and Silberman continued the group as a duo. Before readying the third Young People album in 2005, Eastburn worked on a dance DVD for Kill Rock Stars; Silberman recorded solo material and with folk artist Becky Stark; and Rosenburg played some solo gigs in L.A. Young People moved to Too Pure and released the Five Sunsets in Four Days EP early in 2006, and followed it with the full-length All at Once that spring.