“Take me in your arms tonight,” croons Young Liars’ Jordan Raine on the curtain-raising “Echoists,” from thisVancouverquintet’s debut EP. The sense of open invitation is matched in the surrounding music: It’s full of warmth and affectionate detail, from the crisply irresistible dancefloor rhythms conjured by drummer Ty Badali and bassist Andrew Beck, through to the way Angelo Ismirnioglou’s mesmerizing Afro-guitar picking and Wesley Nickel’s hyper-melodic techno-pop synth lines weave seductively in and out of each other. As an entrÃ©e into these early 20-something Canadians’ world, it could hardly be more enticing.
Indie rock combos who arrive this confident and fully formed are rare, indeed. In latter years, it’s been the likes of Local Natives and Vampire Weekend, and there’s a similar air of self-belief, too, about Young Liars, who first convened, according to legend, in an Algerian basement bar inParis, while taking refuge from rioting outside. Their sound is breathtakingly contemporary, pumping out all the physical, rug-cutting rhythms of a Friendly Fires or Metronomy, while also packing the swoonsome, romantic tunecraft ofSt. Vincentor M83. But these boys are proper stadium-indie contenders, with echoes of the Killers and, thanks toJordan’s Morrissey-esque, heart-on-sleeve voicing, the Smiths.
Each of the six proper songs here (“Great Green Light” dreams up a minute-long synthesized future-church-organ coda) is both insanely catchy, and an expertly arranged journey-in-sound. “Colours” glides off on an undulating synth figure reminiscent of the Who’s “Baba O’Reilly,” but sets up its own stutteringly funky beat, which soon kicks in for a euphoric chorus about train rides and colour-blindness. It’s a compulsively listenable five minutes, full of left turns, and Homesick Future boasts nearly an album’s worth of such stellar material. This is party-minded indie rock from the top drawer.