band crush: electric youth

the duo behind drive's epic soundtrack is back!

photo by vanessa heins

Even three years after it first premiered in theaters, Drive is the type of movie you just can't forget. And while Ryan Gosling (I mean, hello!) and director Nicolas Winding Refn's incredible vision are the obvious reasons the film remains burned into our brains, Electric Youth are the reason it's stuck in our eardrums. The Toronto-based duo's track "A Real Hero" is a dreamy '80s-inspired fusion of soaring melodies and glimmery, gorgeous vocals, so it's no wonder the song (still!) is just as addictive as always. But with a new single and a debut LP Innerworld out this fall, band members Austin Garrick and Bronwyn Griffin are ready to give you even more irresistible, can't-get-out-of-your-head music. And we're OK with that. Meet the band below! 

Most people know you guys from Drive. But for those who don't, how would you describe the Electric Youth vibe?

Austin Garrick: Synth-based pop music for real human beings who enjoy real songs. Music that comes from a real place, lyrically and musically, from true emotions. Since the Drive soundtrack, we've seen some acts appear with music that on the surface sounds a bit similar but is really just meaningless posturing with vintage synthesizer sounds, I think they miss the point that what we along with other contributors of that soundtrack did resonated because it came from a place of honest, true emotion. That's what we're about. 

Did you have any idea that "A Real Hero" would take off the way that it did? 

AG: After I wrote it, I believed in it and thought it would find it's way somehow at some point but that was it. Once the release of Drive was approaching, I think Bronwyn was more the one that had a strong feeling that it was going to do a lot for us, I remember her mentioning it to me at the time.  

What was the process of recording your debut album like? What do you hope people take from the LP?

Bronwyn Griffin: It was a really natural and enjoyable experience. We take our time with things but that's in an effort to make the best collection of work we are capable of. Austin and I have know each other since we were kids and that kind of comfort level allows you to express yourself in ways you may not normally out in the world. The album is a reflection of that honesty and sometimes vulnerability. The other day I read a comment on our facebook page that said "your music makes me feel when I'm normally numb to everything. thank you." That is more than I could ask from anyone. 

AG: The album took four years to make and some of that time was self imposed artist development. As an artist these days, things can be overly-accessible online and it's easy to put things out before they're really at their best but we wanted to make sure we didn't do that. Bronwyn is the voice, I'm the songs and production and we worked together and pushed each other to make the best music we can. It was written and recorded in 5 or 6 countries and along the way we were fortunate enough to work with certain guys we look up to that have believed in us and what we do with Electric Youth enough to get involved in the creation of the record. We worked on it with Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode, Yaz and Erasure) and Peter Mayes (Empire of the Sun and PNAU), guys we think are the best at what they do, and have inspired so many, and having them involved in our record was humbling, insightful and helped us achieve the results we were working towards.