When Young Rising Sons launched “High” in 2013, they were predicted to be one of the torch bearers for the alternative genre for the next decade. They’d take their place alongside Imagine Dragons, GROUPLOVE, X Ambassadors, and a few other high-profile newer acts at the time. We were among those who thought the band’s mainstream success was a sure thing. It wasn’t. Five years from the single’s launch, the band has their core group of fans and a steady following, but they’re not as well known as they should be. Recently, they released a double single with “SAD (Clap Your Hands)” and “Scatterbrain” and Alternative Addiction talked with Young Rising Sons vocalist and frontman Andy Tongren about the state of the band and their new music.
"That's been a brainchild of mine for years,” said Tongren when asked about SAD. “In high school, my yearbook quote was ‘if you're emo and you know it, clap your hands.' [laughs] I was kind of making a mockery of it because I thought it was dumb. I had the haircut, but that’s neither here nor there [laughs]. So, a week or two before we got into the studio and started writing it, I texted the guys and I said, ‘this concept is so dumb that it actually might work and be kind of brilliant – if you’re sad and you know it clap your hands.’ It morphed into something special. It works with the social climate and it works for us. Everybody is a little sad. We wanted to make a song that was real and something that connected. We’re not trying to make light of anything. We wanted to make a song that came from a real place. “
If you look at Young Rising Sons’ releases over their tenure as a band, there’s no LP yet. There are a couple of EPs sprinkled in with a lot of singles. So far in 2018, the band has released four singles, they haven’t released a bigger piece of music. Tongren talked about releasing their singles and how and why they’re doing that in the interview.
“I feel like the music industry ties your hands in terms of creating an album and letting a body of work speak for itself. We grew up in the age of albums and there’s an element of romance to that and we all really like that. But just to stay relevant now where everything is so disposable, you have to release singles. People will hear a song on a playlist one week and then the next week they're already onto the next thing. In order to stay relevant and to remind people you're still there, you have to consistently put out music. It can accumulate into a body of work or a record, but it's important for a band like us to be consistently releasing music."
Seeing the band’s point of view, they’re in a weird spot. Going back to their start, “High” was a hit and was on the cusp of going full mainstream. They’ve had a bunch of other songs get some high-profile attention too; everything from “Red & Gold” to “Undefeatable” were big points on a lot of different people’s radar over the years. That said, the attention they got didn't keep the band from getting dropped by their label, and as much attention as they've gotten, they still haven't gotten the attention they deserve.