National discourse may have been all about that other Frederick last week, but one of my Bandcamp ACLU pick-ups was Human Child, the debut LP from Louisville, KY's Frederick the Younger. I've been a long time lover of this band since the Dr. Vitamin days and I have to say that this LP fulfills one of the best parts of being a music fan--when a band that's got all the mixins brings it all together.
Look, the band's musical acumen is unquestioned. And "Horoscope" the single and first track on the record is going to immediately catch your ear with its chamber pop orchestration and anthemic chorus. But, I want to highlight a bit of a deeper cut--"Leaves are Gone."
The track begins with a creeping infinite groove juxtaposed with a splash of keys so that by the time the drums kick in, you'll be full head nod and foot tap. But this just sets the table. The first two tracks, "Horoscope" and "Tell Me" highlight vocalist Jenni Cochran's chops, but her voice here takes a darker turn: "The leaves are all gone now / the world is falling down / it is not the time to love me." There's a brashness and cut to the Cochran's singing that cuts against the grain with an angular dissonance. "Leaves are Gone" is a ballad of dis-ease. As Cochran sings that she's looking for places brighter than here, the track picks up steam, fueled by uncertainty. Musically and lyrically, you're not going to find another band willing to tackle such conflicting turns on such a sonically rewarding track.