Young Tongue
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Young Tongue

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Pop

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Jan
01
Young Tongue @ Full Calendar @ youngtonguemusic.com/calendar.html

Texas, United States

Texas, United States

Music

Press


Those in attendance at Empire Control Room on Saturday may have caught the latest video by Young Tongue. It was the premiere party for a slew of new videos by Austin bands, all made in 48 hours in a competition called the Music Video Race ("MVR originated in San Francisco and expanded to include ATX and LA this year)." Filmmakers were paired with bands and were tasked to make a video in a weekend. Escape Plan Productions worked with Young Tongue to create the video you can also now watch below... - Brooklyn Vegan


Young Tongue have outdone themselves. Formerly known as The Baker Family, the Austin five-piece shaved their sound down to a succinct nine songs for their debut full-length, Death Rattle. Back in the early 2000s, alt rock got conceited, and every new act took a swing at the genre with pacified results. Today, amidst a disco revival and melodic punk scene, Young Tongue have laid out a laudable form of dizzying alt rock. They’ve raised the bar by themselves, not stopping until their album was stuffed to the brim — and they nearly lose their breath under the weight by the end.

Husband and wife Stu and Liz Baker roped in Nathan Ribner, Darryl Schomberg II, and Travis Larrew to map out a record that’s guided by a heavy rhythm section. Immediately following the opening notes of “Horse and Whales”, guitars duel above continually plunging bass. The rest of the record follows in suit. It’s clear that Young Tongue hope to emphasize their impeccable rhythm section to keep their prog rock writing from slipping: It’s there in the experimental pop of “Caveshare”, the endearing absentmindedness of “Birthday Rats”, and the post-punk licks of “Nickelodeon Dream”. Every track is driven by percussion, but Young Tongue dress them with antagonistic patterns that, like all fashion faux pas, work when the subject exudes enough confidence.

Death Rattle glows with airy omnichord melodies layered over serrated guitar solos. The chunky bass of “Heavy Metal Thunder” soaks in the pairing, giving it a heavy, cobwebbed menace similar to Mew. When single “Cat Calls” starts up, the comparison to the Danish band echoes most clearly. Sparring vocals from the Bakers incite a playful ringing that implodes halfway through, turning into an ominous, seedy rebellion. For Young Tongue, Death Rattle is about the dizzy burst of sound they have in their heads, and “Cat Calls” sees it realized in perfect detail.

However, that woolliness eventually works against them. Instead of the humming cacophony that makes many of their singles work, several swirls of instrumentation start to blur together after the songs pile up. Death Rattle excitedly ropes in too much at once, muddying their intent. The quintet’s debut still impresses by swimming with conflicting parts, but at times it’s hard to tell where you’re supposed to look mid-song.

Still, Young Tongue present a beautiful combination of sounds throughout. “Sand Dance” hops with the vocal flair of Typhoon’s “Young Fathers”, and “Matriarchs” sweats itself out of a fever thanks to sassy, dynamic drumming. This band’s hungry layering differentiates them, clouding their sounds to make each listen a new experience; however, a leader fails to stand out in most songs. If listeners are supposed to enjoy the album as a unified listen, then Young Tongue have to be clearer next time about where we’re supposed to focus our attention. But Death Rattle is solid enough that there will certainly be a “next time” for them to do so.

Essential tracks: “Cat Calls”, “Heavy Metal Thunder” - Consequence of Sound


We recently had a chance to chat with Stu Baker, one of the leaders of Austin-based Young Tongue. The five-piece recently formed from the ashes of The Baker Family, which Stu formerly headed up with his wife Liz (now also part of Young Tongue, along with Nathan Ribner, Darryl Schomberg II, and Travis Larrew). Austinites like to “keep it weird,” and Young Tongue certainly keeps that ethos alive in their music. Oddly danceable, progressive and lyrical enveloping at the same time, we were eager to learn more about the group and their creative process. So without further ado…

How did you get your start in music, and when did you know that you wanted to pursue it seriously?

I started taking guitar lessons at 10, and it’s been my main passion in life since. I figured out in college that I wanted to take it more seriously, but had no idea what that meant. Recently I’ve come to terms with this being what I do with my life, what that means, and it feels great.

You were previously known as The Baker Family. What triggered the change to Young Tongue, and how has the transition been for you? Has anything else changed beyond the name?

The transition to the new name went great, and we’re super stoked to have a name that fits the music now. The Baker Family started out as a folk/Americana band, and over the years it mutated into what we are now. To us it was more than a name change; we essentially started a new band with the same members.

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With Liz, what is your chemistry like as bandmates as opposed to husband and wife? Do you find that it’s difficult to separate the two?

We’ve always felt like having a common pursuit has kept our bond active and strong. But yeah, when we’re rehearsing or writing, it’s a different relationship for sure. The focus is on the music and songs and the five of us working together. Liz knows that I go into a bit of a different world when we’re making music, so she’s patient if I get frustrated or controlling in the rehearsal space.

Music space feels like a different realm in that the idea of marriage doesn’t necessarily exist in the same way as at home.

What is your creative process like? How do songs originate for you, and how do they grow? What type of gear do you use?

Typically I write a folk song on banjo or guitar, re-write it on guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, then show the band, and everyone takes those parts and changes them or tweaks them. Usually the original ‘parts’ for a song don’t end up in the final version. Coming up with the original idea is like finding the mouth of some trail in the woods; destroying the song, working it out, and wrangling the parts is where the real writing happens, I think. The process is different for every song, but I’d say this is the most common for our band.

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What was the inspiration behind your new album Death Rattle, and how does it compare to your previous material? What was recording it like for you?

Death Rattle is definitely the most cohesive and thought-out album we’ve made. In the past, our albums and EPs just kind of documented the music we were making. Death Rattle is more of a thematic work, which took a long time to choose the songs for, piece together, and record.

Recording it was great; we worked with some killer engineers in Austin. I can’t wait to start working on the next album.

Your say that your lyrics and music create a “…sense of urgency to expose narrative.” Can you elaborate on this and explain how this concept came to take precedence during your live shows?

I don’t know exactly…but there is a sense of urgency in the music. I’ve always felt like life was super short and I needed to get what I needed to say out while I can.

It’s also been mentioned that the element of surprise is at the forefront of your shows. What was the inspiration behind it all, and how do you determine exactly what to do to establish this?

Shows without development or change are boring to me. It’s my nightmare to get up on stage and just run through some songs we wrote. We never sat down and said, “OK, lets do this and this to shake it up.” It just happened naturally by doing what we want during the shows. We think the show is an invitation to people to enter into our world and experience what the music can do to you physically, mentally, and emotionally once you surrender to it and let go of self-consciousness.

What is the band’s motto/philosophy?

Sic transit gloria.
Young Tongue Color

How do you define success as an artist?

Miss America answer: for me, success is to sustain a solid work ethic and find a way to make music my primary practice every day. Really, though, success is a six-figure income, five Lambos, two miniature greyhounds, and a private Taco Bell drive-through built into my ivory Jacuzzi shower.

What do you believe your role in the music industry is?

To find and create avenues for our band and others to sustain themselves primarily with their art.

What recent musical challenges have you faced, and how have you worked to overcome them?

Writers block. Read more. Destroy ego.

What type of experience is touring with Young Tongue like? What are your essentials while on the road?

I would live on the road if I could. There’s something grounding about seeing so many different areas and meeting so many people in such a short period of time. Essentials: goldfish, ramen, cough drops, Throat Coat Herbal Tea, beef jerky, podcasts.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

We’re stoked about folks hearing the new album, and hope you get a chance to hear it on a nice pair of headphones, alone, in the dark. - Performer Magazine


Following up February’s Cat Calls EP, Young Tongue premiere an early listen to their full-length, Death Rattle. Formerly known as The Baker Family, the Austin quintet of Stu and Liz Baker, Nathan Ribner, Darryl Schomberg II, and Travis Larrew keep the family values intact with a nurturing vibe as part of their first and second natures. With Death Rattle available November 11 as a joint release from Punctum Records and Raw Paw Records, Young Tongue utilize all feasible items of instrumentation to rouse the creatures from both land and sea.

Opener “Horses and Whales” thunders with Stu and the band’s galloping delivery, tempered and tamed by Liz’s peaceful piano-kissed notes. Reflecting on the wasted time from the amphetamine trails of past addictions and dilemmas, “RXNLA” rolls over to new episodes with a renewed zest for life on, “Heavy Metal Thunder”. The hour glasses of life and time are inspected in loving detail on the comforting and nurturing, “Caveshare”, to the desert ballroom number, “Sand Dance”, that stomps up a sandstorm cyclone of dust and rambling tumbleweeds. “Cat Calls” discusses areas and arenas of identity ambiguities, trading tied-tongues for new beginnings on the blissful banquet of, “Birthday Rats”. The album careens down the circadian rhythms of visions that make up “Nickelodeon Dreams”, before the album goes full circle on the closing song, “Matriarch”, where distress and perdition dissolves as all is carried away on the wings of an ascending angelic sorority. Stay with us after the following exclusive album as Stu Baker gives us a candid look inside the world of Death Rattle.


What was the road of readying, writing, and recording, Death Rattle?

Death Rattle has been an album in concept for a few years. Some of the material, like the bass line and guitar part to “Horse and Whales” on it dates back almost 10 years ago when I was in high school. Other songs like “Birthday Rats” and Sand Dance” were written this year. The album captures a transition of song-writing methods we’ve used. In the past, I would typically write a song and almost all its parts, show it to the band, and they would put their spin on things. We started writing songs from scratch communally during the making of this album. Some of my favorites were written this way, like “Caveshare,” “RXNLA,” and “Heavy Metal Thunder.” For us, this seems to be a healthier way — we can feed off of each other’s ideas and the songs develop a more three-dimensional element. I’ve always felt that ‘writing’ songs is more like ‘finding’ songs; Young Tongue is the search party.

Recording was awesome. We all appreciate honesty in music, so inhabiting the songs was important to us during the process. Most of the songs were recorded with Austin-based engineer, Kevin Butler, who contributed a ton to the songs he recorded and mixed. Making the album has been an incredible communal experience. We worked with other very talented engineers: Travis Kennedy, Jas Nowicki, Carey McGraw, and Andrew Hernandez.


How did you two first meet, connect, and then realize that you had a musical chemistry as well?

Liz and I met when we were young teens in Juarez Mexico on a trip to teach ESL and help a community build a school. I am from North Carolina, and she from Texas, so there was some differing geography built into our personalities that probably made us more interesting to one another. As teenagers, we connected primarily on an emotional level first, some of that was due to common tastes we had in music like Depeche Mode, Talking Heads, and Sigur Ros. Sort of cliche, but I showed her Radiohead and that became the strongest musical bond we had. When I started writing songs in college, we were spending all our free time together. I would show the songs to her, and she was a way better singer than I at the time, so I’d ask her to sing. She would sing me these lullabies like “Tea for Two” and “Like a Ship” and that would totally kill me. I gave her a notepad to start writing her dreams in, and took a lot of lyrics from that at first. It’s always been a very easy and natural thing working together; just being with each other is so effortless compared to working with or being around most other people.


Was “Caveshare” inspired by some sort of updating and modernizing of cave dwelling days to the contemporary conveniences and luxuries of time shares or anything AirBnB related?

Haha, based on the title, I can dig that interpretation. The song, to me, was more about capturing an emotion than telling a narrative. It was inspired by a combination of things including my relationship with Liz, and her ability to calm me down and offer peace to me when I’m freaking out a bit. I was pretty chemically dependent for a few years, and this song came out in the middle of my ‘cleaning up.’ Really though, it’s a love song written to the universal loving force or whatever you want to call it — that thing that every living thing flows from; I don’t think it necessarily benefits from having a personality ascribed to it, but I personify it (or ‘her’) in “Caveshare” because I think it tells a cool story.


What’s the state of Austin these days? Is it as good, bad, not-what-it-used-to-be, and everything else that everyone says it is?

Yes, yes, I’m sure, and probably. My personal opinion is that Austin, like every city is sort of its own organism. And like every organism, it has a birth, initial growing phase, peak, decline, and inevitable death. Where Austin falls on that scale I cannot say, but I do know that every generation romanticizes the past and how much better things were 15-30 years ago. I think there are exciting things happening in Austin, and that some of the best music from Austin is happening now. It’s impossible to measure objectively because we live in a time where the music industry feels like the artificial pacemaker its been hooked up to the past 10 years is running out of batteries, and being in a band in Austin can sometimes feel like being a needle in a stack of needles. So yeah, there were great things about Austin a while back that simply can’t exist in our contemporary age, but there are amazing attributes about it now that couldn’t have existed back then. It’s hard to try to convey the sense of community and support we have here, but it’s awesome, and we all love it here.

Favorite local Austin artists you both have discovered as of recent?

Modern Medicine, Isaiah the Mosaic, Chipper Jones.

Excited to hear about your upcoming tour with duo Mr. Gnome, Nicole and Sam are super creative. How did you all connect on this, and what are you both looking forward to for your upcoming tour?

We love and look up to Nicole and Sam a ton, and have felt drawn to them since we met them in Chicago in 2009. Since then, we’ve played several shows together, crashed on each others couches, and talked about touring together some day. When they asked us to go on this tour with them I ran around our small apartment, jumped on the bed, and screamed into a pillow. So besides getting to see Mr. Gnome play about 20 shows, we’re stoked about seeing beautiful parts of the country we’ve never been to, meeting new people, forging new friendships, and growing closer as a band.

Young Tongue’s album Death Rattle will be available November 11 as a cooperation between the Austin-based imprints, Punctum and Raw Paw Records.

Catch Young Tongue on their tour with Mr. Gnome via the following dates:

November
13 Grand Rapids, MI at Pyramid Scheme
14 St. Louis, MO at Firebird
15 Kansas City, MO at Czar Bar
17 Denver, CO at Hi Dive
19 Salt Lake City, UT at Urban Lounge
20 Boise, ID at Neurolux
21 Seattle, WA at Sunset Tavern
23 Portland, OR at Dante’s
24 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill
25 Los Angeles, CA at Bootleg Theater
26 Tucson, AZ at Club Congress
29 Alburquerque, NM at Launchpad

December
01 Oklahoma City, OK at The Conservatory
02 Dallax, TX at Prophet Bar
03 Austin, TX at Stubb’s Jr
04 New Orleans, LA at Siberia
05 Pensacola, FL at Handlebar
06 Atlanta, GA at Drunken Unicorn - Impose


There is a lot of momentum behind Austin band Young Tongue. Formerly known as The Baker Family, the band has transitioned to a sound that depends heavily on prog rock energy tinged with jarring varietals of guitar and percussion. The band recently released a video for “Cat Calls,” one such that song that lures you into a dark dream world with its catchy, sing-songy guitar picking whilst steadily and stealthily climbing towards a deliciously sinister finish that may leave you concussed and perplexed. It seems fitting that the video sneaks up on you in the same way.

Created in just 48 hours during Austin’s Music Video Race, which pairs bands with filmmakers in a two day marathon of shooting and editing to compete for gear and other prizes, the videos best moments use subtle imagery to reflect Young Tongue’s lyrics. “The light we follow, that won’t stay over you” becomes a cobwebbed bulb glumly glowing while a translucent spider spins around it. Images are projected on the band, clad in white, morphing along with the actual song as it progresses. Streaks of gold paint appear on the band members’ faces, echoing the lyric “we paint our faces ‘til no two look the same.” These finely drawn visual elements are interspersed with scenes of someone being stalked by people wearing rubber animal masks, adding some major creep factor.

By the time the bridge rolls around, the song and video take an ominous turn as a night walk turns into an initiation of sorts. The image we are left with is our protagonist emerging from a seedy hotel pool in a bison mask, and by the end of it all, the menacing mood falls away and becomes something more like a narrative of a rebellion and transformation, reflective of the band’s own transition toward more invigorating, experimental tones.

Only more good things can from a band with such driving sound and artistic energy. Young Tongue releases their first full length album, aptly titled Death Rattle, on November 11 through Punctum and Raw Paw Records. - AudioFemme


It isn't easy for a band to change monikers without facing the risk of losing any, if not all buzz their previous handle may have generated. Not so, for indie pop group Young Tongue, formally The Baker Family. With the release of a digital EP "Cat Calls" the group seems to have made a solid push for relevance to an audience that may have previously dismissed them as yet another Americana family band, to which they couldn't be further from. They are expected to release a full length LP this summer but for now we'll have to settle for the 4 track EP, full of rich percussion and dreamy omnichord backdrops. Saturday at Red 7, Young Tongue opens for UME and Megafauna. - Andy Bianculli - The Deli Magazine


Austin five-some Young Tongue announce the release of their debut full-length album Death Rattle (out 11/11), with the premiere of their mesmerizing new video for “Cat Calls,” a track from the upcoming LP. The video was created for Music Video Race, a 48-hour race, “where musicians and filmmakers come together to speed-create music videos in just one weekend.” Along with sharing the news about their debut LP, the band announced their first US tour.

Death Rattle is an album that blends experimental pop and post-punk riffs, creating some seriously contagious tracks. The songs range anywhere from percussion-driven indie rock to airy, dance-infused dream pop. Young Tongue consists of husband and wife Stu and Liz Baker along with Nathan Ribner, Darryl Schomberg II, and Travis Larrew. Death Rattle is the follow-up to the group’s freshman EP Cat Calls, released in February 2014. - Ellenwood


You want to do what!?! Many bands in the past have decided at one time or another to take the leap and change their name after copyright issues, lack of hits on google search, etc. Today we’ve been told that local hit makers The Baker Family are moving on from their old ways and officially going by Young Tongue. I personally think the change is for the better, but of course I never would have told them that before today…. So the band begin their new adventure with a new single called “Cat Calls” which can be found below. I’d call it a great, driving, indie rock number that certainly won’t let anyone forget about these guys after the rebranding. - Austin Town Hall


...Young Tongue opened the night and are perhaps the band that we were most excited by on the bill. Formerly the Baker Family, Young Tongue is a new incarnation that released their first song “Cat Calls” recently. This name change and release of new songs marks the best material we’ve seen from these musicians. The group will be releasing a future effort with Austin-based label Punctum Records, which has been ahead of everyone recently in signing talented young Austin artists... - Pop Press International


Discography

'Death Rattle'
Release date: November, 2014
1. Horse and Whales
2. RXNLA
3. Heavy Metal Thunder
4. Caveshare
5. Sand Dance
6. Cat Calls   
7. Birthday Rats
8. Nickelodeon Dreams
9. Matriarch

'Cat Calls' EP

Release date: February, 2014
1) Cat Calls
2) Sharpening the Saw
3) Nickelodeon Dream
4) Telepathetic








Photos

Bio


Austin TX's indie rock fivesome, Young Tongue (previously The Baker Family), consists of husband and wife Stu and Liz Baker along with Nathan Ribner, Darryl Schomberg II, and Travis Larrew. Founded in 2014 after six years of performing and releasing music as The Baker Family, the group released the EP 'Cat Calls' February, 2014, and freshman full length 'Death Rattle' in the Fall of 2014 with Raw Paw Records (voted #1 Record Label in Austin at Austin Music Industry Awards) and Punctum Records. The band tours nationally.

Young Tongue complicates the earthy momentum of their percussion-driven sound with surprising touches — an airy omnichord melody or a jagged guitar solo. Their sound ranges from progressive indie rock to dance-infused dream pop. It’s this range of lightness of sound and force of rhythm that stirs their audiences to dance. Their lyrics move associatively, stringing along images to reveal stories. If a new language is born out of a necessity to communicate, Young Tongue captures that same sense of urgency to expose narrative. 

Lead vocalist and guitarist Stu Baker presents a magnetic and mysterious live show. He oscillates between calculated subdued stillness and less-controlled fits that underscore the music’s rawness. Their show highlights the complexity of Schomberg's drum parts — at times three members playing percussion at once. Ribner's bass lines cut through the mix with counter-melodic phrasings that often serve as a song's lead motive, while guitarist Travis Larrew expands the group's musical vocabulary with thoughtful, atmospheric, and sometimes acrobatic guitar accompaniment. Liz Baker brings the same lightness and bright energy as her vocals and omnichord parts bring the songs. She moves everywhere, weaving between the other members, connecting them, bringing their music to life. But perhaps the best part of their show is the element of surprise. You never know what strange object will be used as a drum, which instrument Stu will play next, what moment Liz will hop off stage and ask you to dance.

Band Members