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Artist Update: Young Buffalo

posted January 31, 2013, 2:38 pm by Lani Walker | Filed Under General Interest, Music News, Releases, Tour, Video | comment Leave a Comment

Tags: Young Buffalo, Blessed Feathers

Photo Credit: Murray Curnow

Young Buffalo will embark on an extensive North American tour this spring with fellow indie crowd pleasers Hey Marseilles and Blessed Feathers. The Oxford, Mississippi duo will not only be playing the favorites from their self-titled EP, out now on Votiv, but will also be debuting new music from a special 7″ that will be sold on tour.

Check out their new video for “Baby Demons” on Prefix, which “draws punk rock antics deep into the woods” complete with bonfires, face paint and gravestones, with their catchy indie pop sound driving the boys deep into adventures. Ben Yarbrough and Jim Barrett, who make up Young Buffalo, have drawn comparisons from The Guardian to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Vampire Weekend for their “impressively fast guitar strumming before exploding into a joyous noise-pop chorus.”

Be sure to catch them and witness first hand their exuberant live show, something NYLON describes as “thrilling, wildly exuberant, an all-encompassing experience” for a band that sounds like a “Southern-tinged mashup between Local Natives, The Vaccines, and Vampire Weekend- which, if you ask us, is an excellent combination.” Why don’t you see for yourself!

Young Buffalo is a duo out of Oxford, Mississippi consisting of Ben Yarbrough and Jim Barrett. Oxford may not be known widely as a creative hub, but the thoughtful songwriting and multi-instrumental proficiency exhibited by Ben and Jim on their self-titled EP are prime examples of the artistic diversity that exists in their hometown. As Barrett is quick to point out, Oxford is a “cool mixture of a lot of different kinds of people and it’s not necessarily the kind of Mississippi town you would normally imagine.”

Born out of the University of Mississippi local music scene, the formation of Young Buffalo took place over several long and sporadic years. Ben and Jim began quietly writing music together when they were teenagers, forming their first band in high school. Although the two maintained their strong friendship, the band went their separate ways for a stint. It was during this time that Barrett self-recorded an EP in the spring of 2009, using the moniker Young Buffalo (a nickname he had for Ben in school). The recording ended up being well received locally, and the duo brought the Young Buffalo project to life.

Ben and Jim each have an eclectic array of interests and personal tastes that, when combined with their impressive musical aptitudes, has resulted in a sound that is both accessible and thoughtfully progressive. This amalgamation of influences is front-and-center on their new Kyle “Slick” Johnson produced EP, which was tracked at his studio in Philadelphia over a whirlwind week of 13-hour days. This EP is a beautiful compilation of two artists finding themselves as musicians and writing partners, and the diversity of the album is refreshing in a world where bands too often commit to one particular sound. From the pysch rock epicness of opener “Baby Demons” to the noise pop of the album’s central track “Upstairs” to the more experimental vocal arrangements on “Nature Boy”, there is something on the EP that will catch the attention of most discerning music fans, no matter their ‘go-to’ genre.

Though a central theme of this EP is the sense of urgency and confusion that comes with trying to escape something (as Barrett says “I’m currently living with my parents and this is definitely dealing with that, wanting to get the fuck out,”) it was the efficiency of the recording process that the band found most therapeutic. While Yarbrough and Barrett offer a great deal of credit to their production team and the skill of their current bandmates for being able to cut such a quality album in such a short time, their songwriting is clearly at the foundation of this creative step forward for the band.

Ben and Jim see Young Buffalo in a more mature light having released the EP and writing and recording more. The band is a more cohesive unit than they have been at any other point in their career, and they are genuinely happy to be playing music together. When asked how the recording of this EP has changed his view of the band’s future, Barrett offered this statement: “Two years ago I would’ve answered like ‘we’re going to win Grammy’s and tour the world.’ Now that’s just bullshit. I just want to be able to tour and make records, anything else is bonus. I just want an excuse not to be a caterer full time.”

Young Buffalo EP Tracklisting /

01. Baby Demons
02. Hold Me Back
03. Upstairs
04. Nature Boy
05. Prize

North American 2013 Tour Dates /

02.28.13 – 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN *
03.01.13 – The Frequency – Madison, WI *
03.02.13 – Cactus Club – Milwaukee, WI *
03.03.13 – The Bishop – Bloomington, IN *
03.04.13 – Rumba Cafe – Columbia, OH *
03.05.13 – Zanzabar – Louisville, KY *
03.06.13 – Emerald Lounge – Asheville, NC *
03.07.13 – Snug Harbor – Charlotte, NC *
03.09.13 – Savannah Stopover Festival – Savannah, GA
03.20.13 – Breezy’s – New Orleans, LA ~
03.21.13 – Workplay – Birmingham, AL ~
03.22.13 – Vinyl – Atlanta, GA ~
03.23.13 – High Watt – Nashville, TN ~
03.26.13 – Iota – Arlington, VA ~
03.27.13 – Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA ~
03.28.13 – Mercury Lounge – New York, NY ~
03.29.13 – Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA ~
03.30.13 – Iron Horse Music Hall – Northampton, MA
04.03.13 – Space – Evanston, IL ~
04.04.13 – 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN ~
04.05.13 – The Maintenance Shop – Ames, IA ~
04.06.13 – Off Broadway – St. Louis, MO ~
04.09.13 – Hi-Dive – Denver, CO ~
04.11.13 – Kilby Court – Salt Lake City, UT ~
04.13.13 – Visual Arts Collective – Boise, ID ~

* with Blessed Feathers
~ with Hey Marseilles


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