D//E Interviews: Andrew Younker

Jangle-pop up and comer, Andrew Younker, will be releasing his new, full length album, Well Wishes via French cassette label, Hidden Bay Records on April 10th, 2018. D//E spoke to the twenty-year-old Michigan-based artist about it, his creative process and influences.

What's your earliest memory involving music, and when did you start creating?

I was never super into the music my parents played as a kid (until I got older, my mom got me into Hall & Oates and my dad, Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band), so my earliest memory with music would have to be my older brother blasting MF DOOM from his room as a teenager and getting yelled at. I always thought he was the coolest. He taught me how to play guitar. I recorded my first song, Validate Me at the end of 11th grade, so it's been around three years of me learning how to write and record my own music. I found out pretty fast that I just love recording music, way more than playing or performing. There's something so...matter-of-fact about pushing out an album, it's the only way I "scrapbook" my progress as a person and musician.

How would you describe your own sound?

Dream or jangle pop, I guess. I won't pretend my sound is on the cutting edge of indie music, I just adore the genre so much and it's a labor of love writing songs in that style. I realized on this album that my music is getting a lot faster subconsciously, I guess I want people to dance to my music! One of my friends described the album as "Winter's distant memory of a past Summer love" and I thought that was really sweet.

What became the main source(s) of inspiration for the upcoming album?

Cocteau Twins, Cocteau Twins, Cocteau Twins. I don't understand how this band isn't a household name! So much music shies away from being beautiful for the sake of experimentation, Heaven or Las Vegas says "fuck that, you believe in god now." The highest truth has always been in writing special pop music, and I don't think any band will ever nail down dream pop as well as Cocteau Twins did. As far as contemporaries go, I always look to High Sunn, Foliage and Benjamin Hickey to make sure I'm not lagging behind too much!

How different was the creative process for the new album in comparison to your previous releases?

Oh man. I used to just write five or six songs, scrap together album art, and release it without too much thought. I don't know what got into me this time around, but Well Wishes must have somewhere near 80-100 unfinished tracks and half-baked song ideas. Either my standards got unreasonably high or I lost some of the naïveté I had and realized not ALL of my ideas are worth sharing with the world. I'm happy with how the album turned out, it's not exactly the grand, sparkling vision I had in mind for it, but it's about 75% there, so I'm content.

Do you collect records? How do you feel about physical media over digital?

I've got a couple records, mostly albums I just love the artwork for and feel like I need to actually own. My first record was Lemons by Ty Segall, my favorite would probably be Remain In Light by Talking Heads. I've gotten more into tapes though, they're so cute and cheap, I especially love the packaging. I don't really have a hierarchy of music consumption, I have Spotify and Apple Music as well and I don't think less of people that use those. Go ahead and participate in that monolithic capitalist hellscape, I wouldn't ask anyone to forgo convenience to keep my music alive, I'll keep making it whether or not the PayPal account is flush with cash.

What are you mostly listening to currently?

A lot of ambient/noise, actually. For a while I could only listen to Oneohtrix Point Never, especially in public or on the bus - he is so incredible at cathartic energy. The daily rotation nowadays consists of Autechre, Stereolab, Yung Lean, Dionne Warwick, Ethereal and everyone on Awful Records, Austin Peralta, Michael Jackson, John Maus, Dam-Funk and Candy Claws. I'm pumped for the new Beach House record too, hopefully they dive into the noise this time around!

Name some of your all time favorite records.

Besides records I've already mentioned, Clash The Truth by Beach Fossils still leaves me floored every time, what a beautifully dense and chaotic album. Dots and Loops by Stereolab is the closest an album has ever been to perfection in my opinion, I wish they had been more influential on modern pop music. Oh, and this one's cliched, but Pet Sounds will be in rotation until the day I die or go deaf, whichever comes first.

If you had to cross over to a completely different genre and style of music, what would it be?

Shoot, tough question. I've screwed around by making hip-hop beats ever since I've been producing music, but I wouldn't seriously pursue that - I have no gift for it. Maybe if I started crate digging and sampling better artists I would come up with some UK garage or plunder-phonic stuff, I love vocal chirps in all kinds of music. I've messed around with lo-fi R&B before as well, my voice isn't strong enough for that. In all honesty, there's a lot of directions I want to take my own music already, I think I'll be able to keep myself busy for a while without changing my entire identity.

What do your future artistic plans involve?

Hopefully I can keep branching out! Besides making more music with my garage rock band, Yay High, I want to collaborate with more people on singles or split EPs. TO COOL ARTISTS - Send drum or synth stems to andrewyounk@gmail.com if you want to make a track! Oh, and if someone could teach me photoshop that would be a godsend!

Listen to the first three available tracks and pre-order the cassette through the links and player below...

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