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Ben Whitson (vocals, guitar) – Micah Gilliam (guitar, keys, vocals) – Lauren Gilliam (bass, vocals, guitar)
The Young Step makes music that’s fantastically untethered to any point in time, a wide-eyed form of rock & roll much too imaginative to be aligned with the past or the present. With their thoughtful intensity and disarming lack of self-seriousness, their equal affinity for Zen poetry and Sade slow jams, the St. Augustine-based trio made their debut with 2016’s “El Clàsico” —an album mixed and mastered by engineer Matt Boynton (MGMT, Kurt Vile) at the legendary Magic Shop in Manhattan. And while “El Clàsico” unfolds in flashes of new wave, art-punk, and spaced-out psych-rock, The Young Step ultimately remains genre-agnostic, slipping into whichever style best articulates their strange and outlandish moods at any given moment.
On their new single “Ghost Town,” The Young Step shift from the sometimes-feral power of “El Clàsico” —an album built on heavy bass and unruly guitar work, thrashing drums and wild vocals—and drift toward a smooth-and-breezy sophisti-pop sound. With its warm guitar tones and gentle grooves, “Ghost Town” proves to be both escapist and unsettling, its lyrics speaking to the existential complexities of the band’s adopted hometown (e.g., the ravages of recent hurricanes, the real and/or metaphorical haunting inevitable in America’s Oldest City). “It’s also about what it’s like living in a beach town—how you have to be r