Seattle’s The Young Evils excel at creating infectious and darkly-tinged pop music that balances the dichotomy of a singalong chorus with sinister lyrics. Led by singer Mackenzie Mercer and singer/guitarist Troy Nelson, the duo’s boy/girl harmonies contain equal amounts of sweetness and sting while the tight punch of the rhythm section propels the pair’s musical chemistry into the forefront. The quintet have spent the summer playing West Coast shows in support of their latest EP, Foreign Spells, and as they’ve traversed the Pacific Coastline (including a stop at one of this summer’s Concerts at the Mural), they’ve begun to reach the full potential that the energetic songs on Foreign Spells hinted at.
After two sets yesterday, one on the Promenade stage and one in the Toyota Free Yr Radio tent, the Young Evils were still fresh for today’s early afternoon set in the Bumbershoot Music Lounge, filling in for Ana Tijoux who unfortunately had to cancel. Nelson joked about how he’d planned to wear a shirt and tie until he realized that he’d pass out while trying to sing, but there were no such worries as they rocked through their set.
Of course they played a few songs off Foreign Spells, including the Sixties-esque “Touch Tone Lovers” and radio-friendly (yet sinister!) “Dead Animals”, as well as sneaking in “The Devil’s Barricade” as an unplanned addition to the set. But the Young Evils aren’t just coasting on their latest EP; they played a few brand-new songs to be included on their next full-length album that they’ll be recording in January, such as the lovely “Not Coming Back for More”.
This hard-working band is sure to be playing around Seattle again soon, and we’ll be looking for more new music.