The debut EP from London Ontario’s So Young is a collection of gritty yet catchy songs that are so easy to digest you will be left hungry for more. Self-categorized as “love pop,” the seven song EP is lyrically confidential, like its Secrets title suggests, with So Young pairing the intimacy of their songs with a bad-ass rock and roll sound for a stellar combination.
Lead by the strong and super sweet voice of Paterson Hodgson, who formerly played cello for the likes of Olenka and the Autumn Lovers and Slow Down Molasses, and fuelled by the endearing way a lyric is cleverly phrased or how the band as a whole exudes confidence, it feels easy to draw comparisons between Hodgson and So Young to Canadian favourite Julie Doiron or the likes of Rilo Kiley.
The powerhouse that is “Crushin’” begins Secrets off, immediately hitting you hard and letting you know what So Young is all about. A fast-paced song with the EP’s strongest chorus, Hodgson repeats a favourite line, “I don’t need an excuse to start falling for you, to start losing my cool,” a blistering guitar solo, a common element to Secrets, closes “Crushin’” off but not without developing a little crush on So Young yourself.
Beginning on the softer side of things, both “Breathing Exercises” and “Paranoia” are quick to brush off their quiet starts before launching into the previously mentioned gritty rock sound. In the latter of the two tracks, Hodgson particularly shows off her strong voice in a very self-reflective song.
As one half of the recently released Summer Hits 7” split with friends, and fellow awesome band, Jeans Boots, “Keeping Secrets” has an attitude to it that is completely catching. (In a brief side-note, the power of “Keeping Secrets” paired with Jeans Boots’ song “Asshole” – the other half of Summer Hits – makes for a killer 7.”)
“Write a happy song, write it nice and slow and let it build, that’s rock and roll,” sings Hodgson in the following song “Rock and Roll.” Practicing what she preaches, “Rock and Roll” lulls before, yes, building into a chaotic rock song with Hodgson’s high vocals acting as the shining light out of the mayhem.
Falling in line with its predecessors, “Call The Office” brings the EP to a close in a slick and rocking manner. In a swift, around two and a half minutes, power-pop punch, Secrets is suddenly over all too soon.
Shout it from whatever platform necessary, So Young should be no secret.
Top Tracks: “Crushin’,” “Keeping Secrets”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)