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Ctrl+ALT+Del Pick Of the Week: Yungblud "Medication"

Text "Like" or "Dislike" to 55701 anytime you hear the song play!

August 27, 2018
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This week's ALT 92.3 Ctrl+ALT+Del "Pick Of The Week" is the UK's own Yungblud with his latest single "Medication."

When you hear the song played in the 11AM, 2PM, 6PM and 10PM hours, TEXT "Like" OR "Dislike" to 55701 (standard messaging rates may apply) during the song to let us know, in real time, what you think.

There's no right or wrong; no win, lose, or draw -- we want to hear your feedback on new music!

SEE ALSO: Yungblud Finds Inspiration In the Chaos Of New York City Life

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About Yungblud:

Yungblud isn’t one to hold back when speaking about the state of the world. “The people in charge right now don’t have a fucking clue,” he says. “They’re stuck living in these old ideologies, when really the world should be moving toward a future that’s about freedom for everybody.” In creating his full-length debut 21st Century Liability, Yungblud channeled his outrage into songs both confrontational and catchy as hell, steeped in punk fury and pop melodicism. But while the album takes on everything from consent to white supremacy to the NRA, Harrison’s main mission is to empower and uplift rather than divide.

“So many young people feel misunderstood these days,” says the London-based artist otherwise known as Dominic Harrison. “The world looks at us like we’re liabilities, but we’re not—and if you listen to us, we might actually teach you something. We know the kind of world we want to live in, and we’re not going to be held back by a generation that isn’t ready for things to change.”

Made with producers like Matt Schwartz (Kylie Minogue, Massive Attack), Martin Terefe (Coldplay, Shawn Mendes) and Dave Katz “Sluggo” (Good Charlotte, Gym Class Heroes, Katy Perry), 21st Century Liability packs a guitar-heavy but rhythm-driven sound equally shaped by rock-and-roll and hip-hop—two genres Harrison perceives as “sharing the same soul,” given their raw passion and rebel spirit. In fusing the two genres, Harrison and his collaborators brought an element of boundary-blurring experimentation to the production process—say, for example, reconstructing a grunge-reminiscent drum loop with elements of trap percussion. The result: an album that’s sonically volatile yet immediately infectious. “It’s like a Trojan horse,” says Harrison of 21st Century Liability. “On the outside it sounds so fun and you can jump about to it, but when you really listen to the lyrics there’s something darker and deeper going on.”

Taking a page from the classic album structure of hip-hop, 21st Century Liability opens with “Eulogy”: a 30-second intro skit that instantly sweeps the listener into the heightened reality of Yungblud’s world. From there, the album surges forward with a breakneck intensity as he spits truth on “whatever I feel inspired by or angry about.” That includes issues like gun control on the brilliantly chilling “Machine Gun (F**k The NRA),” a track sparked by Harrison’s realization that “in America it’s easier for me to access an assault rifle than buy a beer.” Slow-burning and quietly haunting, “Polygraph Eyes” spins a seedy portrait of a Saturday night out and presents his delicate commentary on consent. And on “Medication,” with its jittery rhythm and chant-along chorus, Yungblud explores how technology messes with our emotional response. “If something terrible happens, I can just pick up my phone right away to numb the pain,” says Harrison. “But then because of that we end up resorting to drugs to try to feel something, or to escape the craziness of everything going on in the world. ‘Medication’ is a comment on how confusing all that is, especially for young people.”

Elsewhere on 21st Century Liability, Yungblud shows off his rapid-fire flow and tongue-in-cheek humor with songs like “Doctor Doctor”—a track that gracefully merges earthy guitar lines, heavy trap beats, and lyrics examining the skewed priorities of people in power. “I can’t go to university for free in my country, but the government can put all this money into weapons and supplying other countries with destruction,” Harrison notes. “The idea behind ‘Doctor Doctor’ is: if your way of doing things is supposedly so smart, then lobotomize me because I’d rather be stupid.” 21st Century Liability turns more personal on songs like “Kill Somebody,” as Harrison sheds light on his struggle with anxiety. “It’s something I’d never really talked about before, but hopefully opening up about it will encourage other people to tell their own stories,” he says. And on the deceptively bouncy “Die for the Hype,” Yungblud offers a cutting message of anti-conformity. “I get so many people DM-ing me and saying, ‘I feel lost, I feel like I can’t be myself,’” says Harrison. “My response to that is, ‘You know what? Fuck everyone else, because everyone dies for the hype and for what’s hot, but in ten minutes they’re just going to be dying for something else.’ You’ve got to just do what’s right for you.”

Born in Yorkshire, Harrison partly credits his razor-sharp lyricism to his lifelong love of literary-minded songwriters like Bruce Springsteen and Chris Difford from Squeeze. After picking up a guitar at age two, he began writing his own songs at age 10 and moved to London to kick-start his music career when he was just 16. Once he’d refined his musical vision—with the help of his rediscovery of firebrand artists like The Clash, Arctic Monkeys, and N.W.A—he independently released his debut single “King Charles” in spring 2017, and landed his deal with Geffen Records by that summer’s end.

In fall 2017, Yungblud made his U.S. debut with “I Love You, Will You Marry Me”—a song whose gritty storytelling recounts the real-life tale of a tragic romance at a public housing project in South Yorkshire. Featured on 21st Century Liability, “I Love You, Will You Marry Me” also appeared on his self-titled debut EP (an early-2018 release that prompted the NME to praise Yungblud for delivering “the lyrics of a young Alex Turner, the fury of Sex Pistols leader John Lydon, the swagger of hip-hop king Travis Scott and a whole load of spirit that’s all his own”).

Over the past year, Yungblud’s also brought his explosive live show to venues across the globe. A multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, bass, piano, and drums, Harrison is joined onstage by a full band, revealing his larger-than-life stage presence and unhinged charisma as a frontman. “I’ve got ADHD, and my whole life people thought I was some kind of troublemaker because I had all this energy,” he says. “Now when I step onstage I have this hour when I can just be completely myself, just a massive ball of energy. Sometimes I get so lost in the performance, people look a little frightened—but that’s a good thing.”

Now gearing up for a full schedule of summer festivals—including Vans Warped Tour, Splendour in the Grass, Reading Festival, and Pukkelpop—Yungblud is fired up at the prospect of widening the reach of his music. “Making a connection with other young people is what fueled this whole album, and I can’t wait to dive in like that,” he says. “I don’t have the answers to all these problems but I want to do what I can to make other young people feel like their voices are important. It’s only when we all come together and speak our minds that we can really change things in a powerful way.”