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Band photos by Robin Christian. Album photo by Owen Richards.

ABOUT SAUNA YOUTH

SAUNA YOUTH are an evolving band of future humans making truly irregular punk, not quite comparable to anything else. "Weird" is a meaningless platitude and "art punk" is a classifier that shouldn't be required.

Consisting of Boon (drums, vocals), Pines (guitar), Ecke (vocals, sampler) and Mince (bass), Sauna Youth are a punk band that's happy to embrace all of the contradictions that go along with that notion.

On paper, Sauna Youth sound considered - live, they can barely be contained. They are at times furious, unstoppable and severe, with the sampler wailing like an alarm coming from a parallel universe - then chugging, poppy, harmonious and fun. Forever loud.

As Kurt Cobain once asked "Why can't we be both Black Sabbath and The Beatles?" Sauna Youth consistently pose the question, "Why can't we be both The Ramones and Steve Reich?"

Having formed in Brighton in 2009, the band then moved to London in 2011, shifting its line up to its current constellation. As well as performing as Sauna Youth, all four members also make up the band Monotony, swapping their roles around in the group. They did two sessions over two days as both bands for Marc Riley on BBC 6 Music, and both bands were invited to play DRILL Festival by Wire.

As well as playing in Monotony, members of Sauna Youth are also in Tense Men, Primitive Parts, Feature and Cold Pumas. We'll be releasing a split 7" by both Sauna Youth and Monotony in the run up to the release of brand new album, 'Distractions,' too.

SAUNA YOUTH RELEASES

'DISTRACTIONS'

Transmitters

UTR071 | CD / LP | 14 tracks | Buy

'Distractions' (released 8 June 2015) marks the first time the band has managed to write everything in a room together and also documents the first time they have entered a studio to record; the songs in turn created through the process of learning to write together. 'Distractions' was recorded over a couple of days in July 2014 at Sound Savers in Homerton with Mark Jasper, then mixed by the band and mastered by Kris Lapke.

'Distractions' is made up of 14 songs about desire, but more importantly, about that area just out of reach of desire, at the very centre of the human psyche. It looks at what it means to be distracted from being yourself. It thrives in the desire to be someone else, the very idea that you could be someone else. It's also an album that feels instinctive and natural, flowing freely from a band that have come to terms with the sum of its parts. Ultimately though, Sauna Youth have made a colossal record which is impossible not to dance to.

Attracted to the possibilities apparent within a DIY philosophy, the band self-recorded and self-released their own music pretty much until the release of their debut LP 'Dreamlands' on Faux Discx/Gringo Records in 2012. 'Dreamlands' opened with the 10-minute introduction to the "Town Called Distraction," where the stories on this new album find themselves living.

This new album opens with the same locked groove from the end of previous one, until "Transmitters" suddenly breaks the cycling ambience, racing off at full pelt, its guitars pulsing and chopping in a terse manner before the chorus crashes in like a wave.

By singing every word at the same time, Ecke and Boon create a unified voice of no specific gender, allowing the songs to be sung from multiple perspectives, from a place of shared experience. The song's lyrics branch out of ideas of Transhumanism; looking for a way to live forever, for something that makes us last, like recordings. "I want my thoughts scratched into plastic/hear my voice on an endless loop/I like persistence," they sing in unison.

"New Fear" is an elegy for endless lost hours, endless wasted nights, the strangle hold of feeling that you're missing out. "Monotony" represents a desire for a change that won't come: history repeats, music repeats, it's just the context that changes. This is echoed in the type of streamlined focus the band have on composition too, everything drives onwards with inner compulsion, there is no outward hesitation.

With "Cosmos Seeker," the authenticity of character is explored, the drums strictly pinning the jabbing guitar chords and vocals into a propulsive swarm of sound. "Modern Living" is a song that could only have been written now by the band - it sounds effortless yet thrilling all the same, so realised but seemingly spontaneous.

"Modern Living" considers another desire - this time the need for a new way of living that escapes the threat of your job becoming your whole life. 'Distractions' also includes two poems put to music: "(Taking a) Walk" by Ecke is a rumination on the body, specifically female, in public spaces, while "Paul" by Boon explores individuality and authentic performance. Themes of anxiety, indecision and preoccupation run throughout the album.

Beginning and ending in squalling feedback "The Bridge" is always the song that rings longest in your head when listening to 'Distractions.' It's full of the desire to set yourself apart, to connect and hold focus. It's exactly this halfway house existence that best exemplifies the band. There's no standing still when there's such desire to escape to the next song, there's only transformation and desire.

THE BRIDGE

UTR079 | 7" | 2 tracks | Buy

Beginning and ending in squalling feedback 'The Bridge' is the song that rings longest in your head when listening to 'Distractions', it's full of the desire to set yourself apart, to connect and hold fast. "I am the source of the overflow, a torn neck, an effervescent glow, I am the route to the heart of it" sing Ecke and Boon in everyman unison. It's keen and brisk, tireless and smart as a whip. 'Blurry Images' prefers to jog on the spot, its drumbeat and bassline pinned down by throbbing keyboard jabs. "Ancient warning, or invitation, what’s it look like to you?" question the vocals, drawing the song into focus before upping the contrast. It's a tour de force and a fitting home for one of the most unhinged guitar solos the band have committed to tape so far.

'SPLIT' W/ MONOTONY

UTR073 | 7" | 3 tracks | Buy

In the prelude to their album release, Sauna Youth have teamed up with themselves in the form of their sister band Monotony to send forth a colossal split 7" into the world (released 11 May 2015). Sauna Youth offer up their headrush lead single called "Transmitters" from their forthcoming album, while Monotony proffer two exclusive tracks called "Human Troll" and "Luxury Flats."

Sauna Youth's side races off at full pelt, its guitars pulsing and chopping in a terse manner before the chorus crashes in like a wave. By singing every word at the same time, Ecke and Boon create a unified voice of no specific gender, allowing the songs to be sung from multiple perspectives, from a place of shared experience. The song's lyrics branch out of ideas of Transhumanism; looking for a way to live forever, for something that makes us last, like recordings. "I want my thoughts scratched into plastic/hear my voice on an endless loop/I like persistence," they sing in unison.

Monotony kick off their side with "Luxury Flats" - a stomping slab of head-first primal punk. "Acquisitions, no ambition. Jumping off the balcony," they intone over the swaggering rhythm. In the song, Monotony come face to face with Ballard's high-rise nightmare set upon rapidly gentrifying London out of all reason. Second track, "Human Troll," is a boldly brash song lodged with sloping riffs and hollered vocals. "Human Troll lives in the river, cement mattress making him shiver!"

LINKS

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Sauna Youth Bandcamp
Monotony Bandcamp

PRESS

THE QUIETUS

"Transmitters" Premiere

CLASH

'Distractions' Preview

LOUD AND QUIET

'Distractions' Preview

LOUDER THAN WAR

"Luxury Flats" Premiere

LOUD & QUIET

Review

M MAGAZINE

Interview

BROOKLYN VEGAN

"The Bridge" Review

STEREOGUM

"Transmitters" "The Bridge" Video Premiere

THE QUIETUS

Review

CRACK

Interview

RECORD COLLECTOR

Review

NME

Review

UNCUT

Review

LOUD & QUIET

Review

MOJO

Review

VIDEOS

TRANSMITTERS

THE BRIDGE

'CREEPING' / ALL SHOOK UP

'NEW FEAR' / ALL SHOOK UP