I remember the exact moment I first heard Young Marble Giants. I was listening to Marc Riley (one of the many former members of The Fall) on his BBC 6 Music radio show back in 2014. He played this track called Brand New Life. My ears pricked and I marvelled at it, thinking how fresh and modern it sounded – who could this new beat combo be? Was I about to stumble upon the next big thing? I was totally gobsmacked when I looked them up and found they have only ever released one album called Colossal Youth in 1980. 1980!!!! Colossal Youth is a minimal masterpiece. It’s so pared back yet Alison’s sweet vocals seem to lift it. The music itself feels quite fresh, there are plenty of bands now working with that kind of under-production feel where less seems to be more (think; Sleaford Mods), so it was no wonder I thought it was a new release.
The other week, I stumbled across a comment somewhere comparing Young Marble Giants to The XX and I was like “YOU WHAT??! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??” I don’t mind The XX, in fact I sort of quite like them, but really? They are not even on the same level in my opinion, despite their Mercury Prize win.
It did get me thinking though. Who can you compare Young Marble Giants to? Maybe Bauhaus? Possibly Joy Division to a certain extent. Perhaps those suggestions are too obvious and tells you everything about the lack of depth to my musical knowledge. And what do we really think of this Young Marble Giants/The XX comparison? Is it fair?
Yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to fill in the gaps in my musical knowledge. What can you tell me about all this and who else should I be tracking down?