Quintet, Young Peculiar, formed at Sheffield University in January 2011 and have spent the past year and a half building their repertoire and reputation on the local circuit. With rave reviews for their performances at Tramlines and sell out shows at The Foundry and The Hop, Young Peculiar have finally realised their initial goal of setting their sound to record.
And it was worth the wait. For anyone who has seen this colourful quintet live, it will come as little surprise that within four tracks, Young Peculiar manage to lift you and up and knock you down simultaneously. This is no small feat. Fronted by the the dynamic Bernadette Dales, Young Peculiar’s début oozes radio friendly pop credibility, while never losing sight of its jazz and folk soaked influences. Dales is Beth Ditto, Mindy McCready and Melody Gardot packed neatly into one powerful package. But Young Peculiar are far more than a frontwoman. With Dales joined by the undeniably dexterous force of Michael Hukins (guitar), Chris Boswell (guitar), Laura Yie (bass) and Martin Bullock (drums), Young Peculiar can only be referred to in superlative terms. With the EP cleanly produced by Mark Mynett (Mynetaur), each member is given the space and time to shine.
Kicking off proceedings is the jazz-tinged sing-along stomper ‘Red And Gold’, before Dales launches into the tender exploration of abuse, ‘Way With Words’. This track is a brave, tear inducing, spine tingling ballad, that shows the lyrical prowess of an honest, boundary breaking, unafraid group. However, Young Peculiar do not wish to dwell on tough times and quickly kick the beat in with the tease of ‘Chemical Comedienne’. ‘P.G.R.S’ closes proceedings, with a touch of Taylor Swift/Lotte Mullan country-pop finesse. Subtle and understated, ‘P.G.R.S’ is a showcase of Dales’ delightful, delicate tones. As debut EPs go, Young Peculiar have kicked off proceedings with style and class. Far from following trends, the quintet have followed their heart and delivered an honest, refreshing and diverse debut. I suggest you whet your appetite as this is a excellent taster of what is to come.
Go Get It: ‘Way With Words’
Forget it: None, though if forced to choose, ‘Chemical Comedienne’
Young Peculiar can be streamed and downloaded from youngpeculiar.bandcamp.com