Young is the debut full-length album of indie-pop artist Overcoats, in which the duo—made up of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell—constructs a uniquely atmospheric and mellow journey filled with harmonies and electronic beats, clearly establishing themselves as an artist to keep an eye on.
The album begins with “Father,” a minimalist, sub-2-minute track that’s light on instrumentation in favor of echoed vocals and harmonization. While not a catchy draw-in, it perfectly sets the tone of the album, and is paralleled in a bookend-like fashion through the closer “Mother,” which makes use of similar minimalism.
In addition to the familial relationships explored in these two tracks, the middle of the album sees exploration of romantic and platonic relationships as well as themes of uncertainty, independence, and sexism. Songs like “Smaller Than My Mother” and “Siren” discuss mistreatment and a push for independence, while the lead single “Hold Me Close” is a romantic tale told with soaring harmonies over melodic synths, and “Little Memory” powerfully emphasizes its emotions through its beat-less nature, the soft vocals backed by occasional guitar strums.
Though Young has much to offer, some of its best work comes in the candid emotion of “Walk On” and “Kai’s Song.” “Walk On” is a story of lost love and its lasting impact, told over a steady rhythm and quietly droning synths, begging for closure as it cries out, “I used to walk on my own, now I’m scared of being alone.” The slow beat and soft instrumentals of “Kai’s Song” complement its introspection as it explores efforts to find one’s place in life, proclaiming, “How did I lose myself and everyone around me? / But oh god, I have never felt alive like this.” The album’s other biggest standout is “The Fog,” its heavy beat and vocal loop accompanying a message of strength and independence, singing out against sexist attempts to silence and subdue.
The album is not entirely even in its offerings, but Young is a compelling and cohesive work with more than enough good to offset what it lacks. If Overcoats can keep running with what they’ve started here, then they certainly have a bright future ahead of them.