[sic] Magazine

The Young Republic – Balletesque

‘Mature Beyond Its Years’

The Young Republic’s low-key debut was a pleasing but anonymous retread of the Belle And Sebastian catalogue, until its final track, which introduced a smoky, jazz-club feel to proceedings. Balletesque picks up where ‘Goodbye Town’ left off, Julian Saporiti’s vocal now with a much stronger Walkmen vibe than before, the relaxed nod of jazz again making a cameo. New to the mix is the viola, which renders certain tracks contemplatively classical. Gentle washes of fiddled Balkan folk also deviate from the debut.

With irrepressible drive and tempo changes, the indie-rock of ‘The Alchemist’ opens into the very alt-country stomp of ‘Black Duck Blues’. Emotive strings season ‘Sam Clemens’ into a dignified sway. The smooth percussion and toe-tapping of ‘The Wolf’ has a curious Artic-Monkeys-simultaneously-tackling-lounge-jazz-and-blues-rock feel to it, something akin to Jim Bianco’s fine solo efforts. The scale of ‘Tidal Wave’ does its subject matter proud in edgy violin and atmospheric drumming before the more sombre ‘Autumn’s In The Trees’ helps to draw Balletesque to a close. Closer, ‘Tough Year (Hard Waltz)’ oozes Walkmen-bred optimism against a backdrop of misery, punchy rhythms and life-affirming realism.

Balletesque does seem to tell a story, charting the highs and lows of unknown protagonists and whilst its intent is not laid bare, The Young Republic profit from the mystery.