TVD Premiere: Young Rapids, “Odd Numbers”

In 2012 we spoke with Washington, DC’s Young Rapids, at the time having just released their first full length album, Daylight Savings. Since then Young Rapids have toured nationwide, garnered new fans, and figuratively shed the young from their name.

Young Rapids have plans to release their second full length album Pretty Ugly on vinyl this spring and today we’re delighted to premiere their new single “Odd Numbers.” Delving into “Odd Numbers,” we uncovered the layers of the single with lead vocalist Dan Gleason.

“Odd Numbers” is a different sound for Young Rapids, incorporating a new jazzy-hip-hop sound.

“Odd Numbers” was a song that took on a few different types of rhythm styles before finally settling into a more “jazzy-hip-hop” tune. It wasn’t the sort of thing where we sat down and decided to write a song with a hip hop back bone. Honestly, we never have too much of a plan in mind when writing songs, they sort of take us where they want to go for the most part.

Colin (Kelly) and I were playing over the song while still in its infant stage. We had been frustrated with the song because it wasn’t going the way we wanted it to.  Out of a lack of ideas Colin played a straight forward hip hop beat and both of us looked at each other and thought that we had found what we were looking for. Shortly thereafter both Joey (Bentley) and Nick (Martin) joined us and felt the same enthusiasm. From there it evolved into a hip hop song.

Why did you choose “Odd Numbers” as your single?

After we found the beat we were looking for, we felt that was a turning point for the batch of songs for Pretty Ugly. In the past we leaned on a lot of complicated rhythms to keep our songs interesting. “Odd Numbers” gave us the confidence to allow us fall into a less strenuous groove while blending the old and the new. Also, it was one of our tracks that worked really well for us in the studio as far as getting it to sound the way we wanted it to and that is always a good sign. We still have plenty of complicated rhythms but there is a good balance between song styles on our upcoming album.

“Odd Numbers” sneaks in as a simple song but then becomes a wave of sensory attacks taking the listener on a ride. Halfway through the song, the beat changes, the vocals drop out and the rest of the song is instrumental. It is a beautiful experience, thank you for that. As a song writer and composer, how did you feel while creating “Odd Numbers?” Did you intend for the listener to escape into it?

Well, first off thank you for loving it, that means a lot. “Odd Numbers” has a part A and a part B but it used to have a part C too but that got clipped a long time ago. The songs tend to take us where they want to go and then, after some time, we can tweak and edit them as we like. When we play the new songs in a live setting it helps us to see what works and feels right and, more importantly, what doesn’t.

A lot of the songs for the new record have changed in feel and length after spending time in the studio, “Odd Numbers” is a song that has changed in both of those ways. When we first went into the studio in the beginning of fall we said we all wanted to focus on the record as a whole and not just focus on songs, which kind of made it tough to decide on a single because each of the songs fit into the bigger piece. “Odd Numbers” is very much about where we are going and not so much about how it ends.

Young Rapids are playing at the legendary 9:30 Club on January 25th. For a DC band to make it the 9:30 stage is a real accomplishment, congratulations! How does it feel to know that you will play on the same stage as so many successful and loved musicians?

It feels awesome, we are all so excited. The other night I was thinking about it and was like “Holy shit! I’m going to be playing on the same stage Kurt Cobain played on!” and then I realized, “No, you dummy, Kurt Cobain never played on this stage!” (Laughs) I was so pumped for a second but of course I am still very much excited to play there. Of all the venues around the country that I have been to, the 9:30 Club is the best.  It really is something else to be playing at our favorite venue in the country.

Young Rapids plays the 9:30 Club on Saturday, January 25th where $1.00 from each ticket will benefit Girls Rock! DC.

Also, tune in to American University’s student run internet radio station WVAU this Saturday morning January 18th from 8-10am when Young Rapids will guest DJ on Along the Crooked Line—a curated radio show on WVAU for all the music you never hear from the District of Columbia and surrounding cities along the crooked line.

Young Rapids Official | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

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