After breaking into the modern rock and alternative worlds in 2011 with hit singles like “Cough Syrup” and “My Body” from its self-titled debut record, Young the Giant needed to decompress before starting work on its 2014 release Mind Over Matter.
“When we first got off the road, we moved into a house together and tried to get some time to ourselves,” says Eric Cannata, one of the band’s guitarists and background vocalists. “Our first thought was, ‘Let’s not do anything musical for a second and kind of clear our heads.’”
Despite an early bout of writer’s block, once the process clicked for them, an enormous weight was lifted. They ignored media pressure, fan expectations and anything related to the dreaded “sophomore slump,” and just created whatever felt right.
“We wanted to stay true to who we were as a band, but also be able to do whatever we wanted to, sonically, and just explore different sounds,” Cannata says.
Mind Over Matter has an ebullient quality to it that was missing from their debut. “Eros” is a danceable piece of glam rock, while “Daydreamer” is like a kissing cousin of Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle.” The rock sound from their debut is still there, but enhanced, and while Cannata acknowledges that some will dislike the record, he is OK with that.
“Obviously everybody has their own opinion and everyone has certain expectations for a band that has a new record out that they might fall in love with,” Cannata says. “It’s nice to see people loving it and hating it. I think it’s really interesting.”
Young the Giant plays with Echosmith Joy 8 pm Tuesday, April 8, at McDonald Theatre; $25 adv., $30 door.